High frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus has beneficial antiparkinsonian effects on motor functions in rats, but less efficiency in a choice reaction time task

Eur J Neurosci. 2003 Aug;18(4):951-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9568.2003.02803.x.


Chronic subthalamic nucleus high frequency stimulation (STN HFS) improves motor function in Parkinson's disease. However, its efficacy on cognitive function and the mechanisms involved are less known. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of STN HFS in hemiparkinsonian awake rats performing different specific motor tests and a cognitive operant task. Unilateral STN HFS applied in unilaterally DA-depleted rats decreased the apomorphine-induced circling behaviour and reduced catalepsy induced by the neuroleptic haloperidol. DA-depleted rats exhibited severe deficits in the operant task, among which the inability to perform the task was not alleviated by STN HFS. However, in a few animals showing less impairment, STN HFS significantly reduced the contralateral neglect induced by the lesion. These results are the first to demonstrate a beneficial effect of STN HFS applied in awake rats on basic motor functions. However, STN HFS appears to be less effective on impaired cognitive functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Agents / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Apomorphine / adverse effects
  • Catalepsy / etiology
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Haloperidol / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Models, Animal
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Oxidopamine / pharmacology
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / pathology
  • Subthalamic Nucleus / physiology*


  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Oxidopamine
  • Haloperidol
  • Apomorphine