Injections of 6-hydroxydopamine in the substantia nigra of the rat brain: morphological and biochemical effects

Behav Brain Res. 1990 Apr 16;38(1):83-95. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(90)90027-c.


Rats with unilateral injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the substantia nigra pars compacta were classified as active and inactive according to the intensity of their spontaneous and/or apomorphine-induced turning behavior (TB), and sacrificed at different survival times for morphological and biochemical analysis. In active rats, at any survival time, dopaminergic fluorescence in the nigrostriatal system as well as dopamine (DA) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) content of the nucleus caudatus-putamen drastically decreased on the brain side ipsilateral to the injection. Dopaminergic fluorescence as well as DA and DOPAC content of the mesolimbic system ipsilateral to the injection also decreased. In inactive rats, at any survival time, 6-OHDA-induced lesions only partially involved both nigrostriatal and mesolimbic systems. Our results are indicative of a good correlation between the intensity of TB and the extent of 6-OHDA-induced lesions, as assessed by morphological and biochemical analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Caudate Nucleus / drug effects
  • Dominance, Cerebral / drug effects
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Hydroxydopamines / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Nerve Fibers / drug effects
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Nucleus Accumbens / drug effects
  • Oxidopamine
  • Phenylacetates / metabolism*
  • Putamen / drug effects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects*
  • Stereotyped Behavior / drug effects*
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects*
  • Tegmentum Mesencephali / drug effects


  • Hydroxydopamines
  • Phenylacetates
  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Oxidopamine
  • Apomorphine
  • Dopamine