Cortical glutamate levels decrease in a non-human primate model of dopamine deficiency

Brain Res. 2014 Mar 13:1552:34-40. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.12.035. Epub 2014 Jan 4.


While Parkinson's disease is the result of dopaminergic dysfunction of the nigrostriatal system, the clinical manifestations of Parkinson's disease are brought about by alterations in multiple neural components, including cortical areas. We examined how 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) administration affected extracellular cortical glutamate levels by comparing glutamate levels in normal and MPTP-lesioned nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta). Extracellular glutamate levels were measured using glutamate microelectrode biosensors. Unilateral MPTP-administration rendered the animals with hemiparkinsonian symptoms, including dopaminergic deficiencies in the substantia nigra and the premotor and motor cortices, and with statistically significant decreases in basal glutamate levels in the primary motor cortex on the side ipsilateral to the MPTP-lesion. These results suggest that the functional changes of the glutamatergic system, especially in the motor cortex, in models of Parkinson's disease could provide important insights into the mechanisms of this disease.

Keywords: Cortical; Glutamate; MPTP; Microelectrode array; Parkinson's.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Cell Count
  • Dopamine / deficiency*
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / enzymology
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Glutamic Acid / analysis*
  • Macaca mulatta / metabolism*
  • Microelectrodes
  • Motor Cortex / chemistry*
  • Motor Cortex / pathology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / metabolism*
  • Substantia Nigra / chemistry*
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / analysis


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Dopamine