In Parkinson's disease (PD), several neurotransmitter systems, such as the doparmnergic and serotonergic system, show signs of degeneration. This led to the suggestion that alterations in the serotonergic system play a role in the pathophysiology of PD. Partial bilateral dopaminergic lesions of the caudate putamen complex (CPu) of rats induced by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) produce behavioral symptoms mimicking PD. In the present study, the role of serotonin and dopamine was investigated both behaviorally and neuroanatomically. In a reaction time task, motor initiation and motor performance were impaired in the lesioned animals compared to controls. The performance of rats treated with d-amphetamine or serotonergic ligands (DOI and ketanserin) in the reaction time task indicated that 5-HT and DA appear to be agonistically related in the CPu. The relation was the same in both control and 6-OHDA lesioned rats. 12 weeks after lesioning, motor initiation recovered, whereas motor performance did not. Parallel to the behavioral study, a second group of animals was lesioned and, at 3 days, 6 weeks and 12 weeks after lesioning, a subgroup was killed to obtain a qualitative indication of the degree of 6-OHDA lesion. Over the three time points, a substantial recovery of tyrosine hydroxylase staining in the CPu was visible. Taken together, since serotonergic ligands have the same effect as dopaminergic ligands on reaction time responding indicated that 5-HT and DA release are agonistically linked in control and 6-OHDA lesioned rats.
Scholtissen, B., Deumens, R., Leentjens, A. F. G., Schmitz, C., Blokland, A., Steinbusch, H. W. M., & Prickaerts, J. H. H. J. (2006). Functional investigations into the role of dopamine and serotonin in partial bilateral striatal 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 83, 175-85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2006.01.003