Regulation of GAP-43 protein and mRNA in nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons after the partial destruction of dopaminergic terminals with intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine.Synapse. 2001 Jan; 39(1):16-22.S
Changes in the level of GAP-43 and its mRNA in nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons in an animal model of the presymptomatic period of Parkinson's disease were measured to find the characteristic features of GAP-43 in nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Since the dopaminergic neurons possess a relatively large amount of GAP-43 protein and mRNA, the dopaminergic neurons must be endowed with specific functions related to those of GAP-43. In this study, dopaminergic axon terminals were partially destroyed by intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Rats were decapitated 3, 14, and 56 days following treatment. Levels of GAP-43 and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the striatum were detected by immunoblotting and quantified. The number of GAP-43 mRNA-positive neurons and that of TH mRNA-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) were detected by in situ hybridization using alkaline phosphatase (ALP)-labeled probes. Levels of GAP-43 in the striatum showed no significant alteration during the period of the experiment, although levels of TH were gradually restored. The number of GAP-43 mRNA-positive neurons as well as that of TH mRNA-positive neurons in the SNc decreased. These results suggests that dopaminergic neurons restore their axon terminals with little change in GAP-43, and that transcription and/or stability of GAP-43 mRNA in the dopaminergic neurons are susceptible to the toxin, although the dopaminergic neurons can maintain the translational product in the terminals. This feature may be related with a degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease.