Scientific publications

Subthalamic nucleus-mediated excitotoxicity in Parkinson's disease: a target for neuroprotection

Rodriguez MC, Obeso JA, Olanow CW.
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, HOSPITEN, Medical School, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.

Magazine: Annals of Neurology

Date: Sep 1, 1998

Neurology [SP]

Dopamine deficiency causes disinhibition and overactivity of the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Output neurons from the STN are excitatory and use glutamate as a neurotransmitter. They project to the external and internal segments of the globus pallidum (GPe and GPi), the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), and the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN). In addition, STN neurons provide excitatory innervation to dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) that contain glutamate receptors.

Stimulation of the STN induces bursting activity in SNc dopaminergic neurons. This raises the possibility that the disinhibition of STN neurons that occurs as a result of a dopamine lesion might induce excitotoxic damage in target structures, including the SNc. In addition, the reduction in complex I activity found in the nigra in Parkinson's disease (PD) may cause mitochondrial dysfunction and make SNc dopaminergic neurons vulnerable to even physiologic concentrations of glutamate.

We postulate that the dopamine loss that occurs in PD produces augmented STN activity which, in turn, causes further damage to vulnerable dopaminergic neurons, thereby creating a scenario for an increasing cycle of neuronal loss in the SNc. In addition, STN overactivity could, in theory, cause damage to the GPi, SNr, and PPN and thereby account for the development of parkinsonian features that do not respond to levodopa in patients with advanced disease.

This hypothesis suggests that pharmacologic or surgical therapies that reduce STN neuronal overactivity or block glutamate receptors in the SNc and other target structures might be neuroprotective and might slow or halt the progression of neurodegeneration in PD.

CITATION  Ann Neurol. 1998 Sep;44(3 Suppl 1):S175-88

you maybe interested

WHAT TECHNOLOGY
DO WE USE?

The Clínica is the greater private hospital with technological equipment of Spain, all in a single center.

Imagen de un PET, tecnología de vanguardia en la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

OUR
PROFESSIONALS

The professionals of the Clínica perform continuous research and training, always to the benefit of the patient.

Imagen profesionales de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

WHY CHOOSE
THE CLINICA?

Learn why we are different from other healthcare centers. Quality, speed, comfort and results.

Imagen del edificio de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra