Effect of subthalamic nucleus lesion on mitochondrial enzyme activity in rat basal ganglia

Fabio Blandini, J. Timothy Greenamyre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The subthalamic nucleus (STN) plays a major role in the control of basal ganglia output, and its overactivity may be central to the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. In order to elucidate the functional relationship between STN and its projection nuclei, we studied the short-term (1 week) effect of a selective lesion of STN on the activity of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) and cytochrome oxidase (CO), two markers of neuronal activity, in the basal ganglia of rats. STN ablation induced a discrete reduction of oxidative metabolism, ipsilaterally to the lesion, in substantia nigra pars reticulata and globus pallidus, the rodent homologue of lateral globus pallidus. Such changes, ascribable to the interruption of the STN excitatory output to these nuclei, were present after 24 h and remained stable, or increased, throughout the observation period. A transitory, ipsilateral decrease was also observed in the caudate-putamen and the somato-sensory cortex, likely due to involvement of polysynaptic pathways. SDH and CO activity were always altered in the same areas, but SDH changes were more pronounced and occurred more rapidly. These results shed further light on the role played by STN in the control of basal ganglia output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 9 1995


  • Basal ganglia
  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • N-methyl-d-asparatate
  • Subthalamic nucleus
  • Succinate dehydrogenase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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