Author(s): Cunningham RL, Macheda T, Watts LT, Poteet E, Singh M,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by dopamine neuron loss in the nigrostriatal pathway that shows greater incidence in men than women. The mechanisms underlying this gender bias remain elusive, although one possibility is that androgens may increase dopamine neuronal vulnerability to oxidative stress. Motor impairment can be modeled in rats receiving a unilateral injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), a neurotoxin producing nigrostriatal degeneration. To investigate the role of androgens in PD, we compared young (2 months) and aged (24 months) male rats receiving gonadectomy (GDX) and their corresponding intact controls. One month after GDX, rats were unilaterally injected with 6-OHDA, and their motor impairment and asymmetry were assessed 2 weeks later using the cylinder test and the amphetamine-induced rotation test. Plasma samples were also collected to assess the concentration of testosterone and advanced oxidation protein products, a product of oxidative stress. GDX decreased lesion-induced asymmetry along with oxidative stress and increased amphetamine-induced rotations. These results show that GDX improves motor behaviors by decreasing motor asymmetry in 6-OHDA-treated rats, an effect that may be ascribed to increased release of striatal dopamine and decreased oxidative stress. Collectively, the data support the hypothesis that androgens may underlie the gender bias observed in PD. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Horm Behav
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science