The calcium-binding protein calbindin-D(28k) (CB) is located in midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons that are less vulnerable to degeneration in Parkinson's disease and in an animal model of the disorder, the MPTP-treated monkey. The present study sought to determine whether CB-containing DA neurons are also less vulnerable to degeneration in the MPTP-treated mouse. Double-labelling immunocytochemical staining and computer imaging techniques were employed to map and quantify the tyrosine hydroxylase-, CB- and CB-containing tyrosine hydroxylase neurons in portions of nucleus A9 and nucleus A10 (ventral tegmental area and central linear nucleus) following MPTP treatment in the C57BL/6 mouse. A cumulative dose of 140 mg/kg MPTP produced a significantly greater loss of DA neurons that lack CB in both nucleus A9 (71 ± 4%) and the ventral tegmental area (70 ± 4%), compared to the loss of DA neurons that contain CB (44 ± 6% and 25 ± 14%, respectively). In the central linear nucleus there was no loss of CB-containing DA neurons. These data demonstrate that the presence of CB in midbrain DA neurons identifies a population of cells in the mouse that are less vulnerable to MPTP-induced degeneration. The mouse, therefore, can serve as a useful model in which to investigate the putative neuroprotective effects of CB in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Calbindin-D(28k) double-labelling immunocytochemistry
- Midbrain dopaminegic neurons