Dopamine-rich grafts in the neostriatum and/or nucleus accumbens: effects on drug-induced behaviours and skilled paw-reaching

Neuroscience. 1993 Mar;53(1):187-97. doi: 10.1016/0306-4522(93)90297-s.


This study compares the behavioural efficiency of dopaminergic mesencephalic neurons implanted into the rat neostriatum and/or the nucleus accumbens. The dopaminergic mesotelencephalic pathway was unilaterally destroyed by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine into the medial forebrain bundle at the level of the lateral hypothalamus. Three weeks later, embryonic dopaminergic mesencephalic neurons were implanted into the denervated neostriatum, or the nucleus accumbens or into both locations (double grafts). All animals were tested over a four month period for amphetamine- and apomorphine-induced rotation, apomorphine-induced locomotor activity, and on a skilled paw reaching task. The characteristic ipsilateral rotation induced by amphetamine observed in lesioned animals was significantly reduced by neostriatal and double grafts, but persisted in animals with grafts in the nucleus accumbens alone. Four months after grafting, an overcompensation of rotation was observed for the neostriatal and double grafted animals, which now rotated contralaterally, i.e. away from the grafted side. The rotation induced by apomorphine in lesioned rats was decreased by neostriatal and double grafts and to a lesser extent by grafts implanted into the nucleus accumbens. Apomorphine-induced locomotor hyperactivity in lesioned animals was ameliorated by the nucleus accumbens and by double grafts. In the paw-reaching task, lesioned animals showed severe impairment in the use of the contralateral limb, which none of the grafts alleviated. Pretreatment with amphetamine had variable effects on the paw-reaching task which persisted in subsequent drug-free trials, suggesting that a conditioning mechanism may be involved. These findings suggest that the simultaneous reinnervation of the neostriatum and the nucleus accumbens by dopaminergic transplants is not sufficient to re-establish normal function in more complex behavioural tasks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Apomorphine / pharmacology
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation / physiology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Neostriatum / physiology*
  • Neostriatum / transplantation
  • Nucleus Accumbens / physiology*
  • Oxidopamine
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stereotyped Behavior / physiology
  • Sympathectomy, Chemical


  • Oxidopamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Apomorphine
  • Dopamine