Plasticity of neostriatal dopamine receptors after nigrostriatal injury: Relationship to recovery of sensorimotor functions and behavioral supersensitivity

Kim A. Neve, Michael R. Kozlowski, John F. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

112 Scopus citations


Rats given unilateral injections of 6-OHDA along the course of the mesotelencephalic dopaminergic projection show impairments in contralateral sensorimotor functions from which they often recover. Such rats also display an enhanced sensitivity to DA receptor stimulants, e.g. apomorphine, as revealed by contralateral turning, and an increased binding of neuroleptic compounds (e.g. [3H]spiroperidol) to the denervated striatum. This research examines the relationship of these receptor changes to both behavioral supersensitivity and recovery of sensorimotor functions by quantifying the time course of each phenomenon after injury. The supersensitivity to apomorphine and the behavioral recovery developed with a similar time course after injury, being evident within 1.5-3 days and reaching nearly maximal levels by 2 weeks postoperatively. A significant increase in in vivo [3H]spiroperidol binding to the denervated striatum occurred by 4 days postoperatively, and the magnitude of this change increased linearly during the first postoperative month. In contrast, the in vitro binding of this ligand to membranes of the denervated striatum was not increased until 3 weeks after the lesion. The results suggest that a proliferation of DA receptors may contribute to the pharmacological supersensitivity and the recovery of function, and that these early receptor changes may be revealed with greater sensitivity using in vivo binding techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-44
Number of pages12
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 22 1982



  • [H]spiroperidol
  • apomorphine
  • dopamine
  • neglect
  • neostriatum
  • recovery of function
  • rotational behavior
  • somatosensory localization
  • supersensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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