Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibition affects both the direct and indirect pathway: an electrophysiological study examining the tri-phasic response in the substantia nigra pars reticulata

P.R.A. Heckman*, J.V. Schweimer, T. Sharp, J. Prickaerts, A. Blokland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Fronto-striatal circuits constitute the neurobiological basis of many neuropsychiatric disorders. Part of the intracellular signaling within these circuits, including its dopaminergic modulation, is regulated by the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling cascade. Based on the overall expression in human fronto-striatal circuitry, we tested the effects of a cAMP selective phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor on the tri-phasic response in the dorsomedial substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) upon stimulation of the infralimbic cortex in rats. Our results show for the first time that stimulation of the cognitive infralimbic cortex leads to a tri-phasic response in SNr neurons. In addition and in line with previous biochemical and behavioral studies, PDE4 inhibition by roflumilast affects the direct pathway as well as the indirect pathway of which the latter appears more sensitive than the former.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-748
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Structure & Function
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Journal Article

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