Parkinson's disease is frequently associated with gastrointestinal symptoms, mostly represented by constipation and defecatory dysfunctions. This study examined the impact of central dopaminergic denervation, induced by injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the medial forebrain bundle, on distal colonic excitatory cholinergic neuromotor activity in rats. Animals were euthanized 4 and 8 weeks after 6-OHDA injection. In vivo colonic transit was evaluated by radiologic assay. Electrically induced and carbachol-induced cholinergic contractions were recorded in vitro from longitudinal and circular muscle colonic preparations, whereas acetylcholine levels were assayed in the incubation media. Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), HuC/D (pan-neuronal marker), muscarinic M2 and M3 receptors were assessed by immunohistochemistry or western blot assay. As compared with control rats, at week 4, 6-OHDA-treated animals displayed the following changes: decreased in vivo colonic transit rate, impaired electrically evoked neurogenic cholinergic contractions, enhanced carbachol-induced contractions, decreased basal and electrically stimulated acetylcholine release from colonic tissues, decreased ChAT immunopositivity in the neuromuscular layer, unchanged density of HuC/D immunoreactive myenteric neurons, and increased expression of colonic muscarinic M2 and M3 receptors. The majority of such alterations were also detected at week 8 post 6-OHDA injection. These findings indicate that central nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation is associated with an impaired excitatory neurotransmission characterized by a loss of myenteric neuronal ChAT positivity and decrease in acetylcholine release, resulting in a dysregulated smooth muscle motor activity, which likely contributes to the concomitant decrease in colonic transit rate.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1 2016|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine