Author(s): Grzanna R, Berger U, Fritschy JM, Geffard M
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Abstract Previous immunohistochemical studies of the long-term effects of the noradrenergic neurotoxin DSP-4 have demonstrated a remarkably selective vulnerability of norepinephrine (NE) axons of the locus coeruleus (LC). NE axons originating in non-LC NE neurons appear to be largely resistant to the neurotoxic action of DSP-4. We conducted this study to evaluate the acute effects of DSP-4 on NE axons in four different brain regions: cerebral cortex, cerebellum, ventral forebrain, and hypothalamus. NE levels were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) 6 and 24 hr and 14 days after DSP-4 administration. NE axons in these brain regions were visualized in brain sections at 6 and 24 hr after drug treatment, using a specific antiserum to NE. HPLC assays revealed profound reductions of NE levels in cerebral cortex and cerebellum, but only minor decreases in ventral forebrain and hypothalamus. NE immunohistochemistry showed dramatic differences in the acute effects of DSP-4 on NE axon staining: nearly complete loss of staining in cortex and cerebellum, in contrast to an almost unchanged staining pattern in ventral forebrain and hypothalamus. This study demonstrates that NE immunohistochemistry is a valuable tool to assess the acute effects of DSP-4 on NE axons in different brain regions. The results provide the first direct evidence that NE axons are not uniformly acted on by DSP-4 and suggest that the acute effects of DSP-4 are restricted to LC axons.
This article was published in J Histochem Cytochem
and referenced in Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology