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Noradrenergic lesion of the locus coeruleus increases the firing activity of the medial prefrontal cortex pyramidal neurons and the role of alpha2-adrenoceptors in normal and medial forebrain bundle lesioned rats



Noradrenergic lesion of the locus coeruleus increases the firing activity of the medial prefrontal cortex pyramidal neurons and the role of alpha2-adrenoceptors in normal and medial forebrain bundle lesioned rats



Brain Research 1324: 64-74



Degeneration of noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) and dysfunction of the prefrontal cortex were regarded as playing a specific role in the occurrence of non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. The present study examined the spontaneous firing rate and firing pattern of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) pyramidal neurons, and effects of alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist UK-14,304 and antagonist yohimbine on the neuronal activity in rats with 6-hydroxydopamine lesions of the LC, medial forebrain bundle (MFB) and with combined MFB and LC lesions. The firing rate of mPFC pyramidal neurons in rats with lesions of the LC and with combine LC and MFB lesions is significantly higher than that of normal and MFB-lesioned rats and the firing pattern of these neurons in rats with lesions of the LC and with combine LC and MFB lesions also changed significantly towards more regular compared with normal and MFB-lesioned rats. The local administration of UK-14,304 in the mPFC inhibited the firing activity of the pyramidal neurons in normal rats and rats with lesions of the LC, MFB and with combined LC and MFB lesions, while yohimbine increased the firing activity of the pyramidal neurons. These results indicate that the lesions of the LC lead to hyperactivity of mPFC pyramidal neurons in normal and MFB-lesioned rats, and the postsynaptic alpha(2)-adrenoceptors may partially mediate the inhibitory effects of LC-noradrenergic system on the firing activity of pyramidal neurons in the mPFC, suggesting that LC-noradrenergic system plays an important role in the functional disorders of mPFC in Parkinson's disease.

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Accession: 054654941

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PMID: 20153300

DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.02.009


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