Neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain continues in the subventricular zone (SVZ). Neuronal precursors from the SVZ migrate along the rostral migratory stream to replace olfactory bulb interneurons. After the destruction of the nigro-striatal pathway (SN-lesion), some SVZ precursors begin to express tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and neuronal markers (NeuN). Grafting of chromaffin cells (CCs) into the denervated striatum increases the number of TH+ cells (SVZ TH+ cells; Arias-Carrion et al., 2004). This study examines the functional properties of these newly differentiating TH+ cells. Under whole-cell patch-clamp, most SVZ cells recorded from lesioned and grafted animals (either TH+ or TH-) were non-excitable. Nevertheless, a small percentage of SVZ TH+ cells had the electrophysiologic phenotype of mature dopaminergic neurons and showed spontaneous postsynaptic potentials. Dopamine (DA) release was measured in SVZ and striatum from both control and SN-lesioned rats. As expected, 12 weeks after SN lesion, DA release decreased drastically. Nevertheless, 8 weeks after CCs graft, release from the SVZ of SN-lesioned rats recovered, and even surpassed that from control SVZ, suggesting that newly formed SVZ TH+ cells release DA. This study shows for the first time that in response to SN-lesions and CC grafts neural precursors within the SVZ change their developmental program, by not only expressing TH, but more importantly by acquiring excitable properties of mature dopaminergic neurons. Additionally, the release of DA in a Ca2+-dependent manner and the attraction of synaptic afferents from neighboring neuronal networks gives further significance to the overall findings, whose potential importance is discussed. (c) 2006 Wiley- Liss, Inc.
Última actualización: 26/10/2016