Different Corticostriatal Integration in Spiny Projection Neurons from Direct and Indirect Pathways

División de Neurociencias, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México México City, México.
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 06/2010; 4:15. DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2010.00015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The striatum is the principal input structure of the basal ganglia. Major glutamatergic afferents to the striatum come from the cerebral cortex and make monosynaptic contacts with medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs) and interneurons. Also: glutamatergic afferents to the striatum come from the thalamus. Despite differences in axonal projections, dopamine (DA) receptors expression and differences in excitability between MSNs from "direct" and "indirect" basal ganglia pathways, these neuronal classes have been thought as electrophysiologically very similar. Based on work with bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice, here it is shown that corticostriatal responses in D(1)- and D(2)-receptor expressing MSNs (D(1)- and D(2)-MSNs) are radically different so as to establish an electrophysiological footprint that readily differentiates between them. Experiments in BAC mice allowed us to predict, with high probability (P > 0.9), in rats or non-BAC mice, whether a recorded neuron, from rat or mouse, was going to be substance P or enkephalin (ENK) immunoreactive. Responses are more prolonged and evoke more action potentials in D(1)-MSNs, while they are briefer and exhibit intrinsic autoregenerative responses in D(2)-MSNs. A main cause for these differences was the interaction of intrinsic properties with the inhibitory contribution in each response. Inhibition always depressed corticostriatal depolarization in D(2)-MSNs, while it helped in sustaining prolonged depolarizations in D(1)-MSNs, in spite of depressing early discharge. Corticostriatal responses changed dramatically after striatal DA depletion in 6-hydroxy-dopamine (6-OHDA) lesioned animals: a response reduction was seen in substance P (SP)+ MSNs whereas an enhanced response was seen in ENK+ MSNs. The end result was that differences in the responses were greatly diminished after DA depletion.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: In Parkinson's disease (PD), bradykinesia, or slowness of movement, only appears after a large striatal dopamine depletion. Compensatory mechanisms probably play a role in this delayed appearance of symptoms. Objective: Our hypothesis is that the striatal direct and indirect pathways participate in these compensatory mechanisms. Methods: We used the unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat model of PD and control animals. Four weeks after the lesion, the spontaneous locomotor activity of the rats was measured and then the animals were killed and their brain extracted. We analyzed the mRNA expression of markers of the striatal direct and indirect pathways as well as the nigral expression of dopamine transporter (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA. We also carried out an immunohistochemistry for the striatal TH protein expression. Results: As expected, the unilateral 6-OHDA rats presented a tendency to an ipsilateral head turning and a low locomotor velocity. In 6-OHDA rats only, we observed a significant and positive correlation between locomotor velocity and both D1-class dopamine receptor (D1R) (direct pathway) and enkephalin (ENK) (indirect pathway) mRNA in the lesioned striatum, as well as between D1R and ENK mRNA. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a strong relationship between both direct and indirect pathways and spontaneous locomotor activity in the parkinsonian rat model. We suggest a synergy between both pathways which could play a role in compensatory mechanisms and may contribute to the delayed appearance of bradykinesia in PD.
    08/2013; 3(3). DOI:10.3233/JPD-130202
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the last couple of years, there have been significant advances in our understanding of how dopamine modulates striatal circuits underlying goal-directed behaviors and how therapeutic interventions intended to normalize disordered dopaminergic signaling can go awry. This review summarizes some of the advances in this field with a translational focus on Parkinson's disease.
    Current Opinion in Neurobiology 12/2014; 29:109–117. DOI:10.1016/j.conb.2014.07.008 · 6.77 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The firing of striatal projection neurons (SPNs) exhibits afterhyperpolarizing potentials (AHPs) that determine discharge frequency. They are in part generated by Ca(2+)-activated K(+)-currents involving BK and SK components. It has previously been shown that suprathreshold corticostriatal responses are more prolonged and evoke more action potentials in direct pathway SPNs (dSPNs) than in indirect pathway SPNs (iSPNs). In contrast, iSPNs generate dendritic autoregenerative responses. Using whole cell recordings in brain slices, we asked whether the participation of Ca(2+)-activated K(+)-currents plays a role in these responses. Secondly, we asked if these currents may explain some differences in synaptic integration between dSPNs and iSPNs. Neurons obtained from BAC D1 and D2 GFP mice were recorded. We used charybdotoxin and apamin to block BK and SK channels, respectively. Both antagonists increased the depolarization and delayed the repolarization of suprathreshold corticostriatal responses in both neuron classes. We also used NS 1619 and NS 309 (CyPPA), to enhance BK and SK channels, respectively. Current enhancers hyperpolarized and accelerated the repolarization of corticostriatal responses in both neuron classes. Nevertheless, these drugs made evident that the contribution of Ca(2+)-activated K(+)-currents was different in dSPNs as compared to iSPNs: in dSPNs their activation was slower as though calcium took a diffusion delay to activate them. In contrast, their activation was fast and then sustained in iSPNs as though calcium flux activates them at the moment of entry. The blockade of Ca(2+)-activated K(+)-currents made iSPNs to look as dSPNs. Conversely, their enhancement made dSPNs to look as iSPNs. It is concluded that Ca(2+)-activated K(+)-currents are a main intrinsic determinant causing the differences in synaptic integration between corticostriatal polysynaptic responses between dSPNs and iSPNs.
    Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 10/2013; 7:63. DOI:10.3389/fnsys.2013.00063