Sexual dimorphism and developmental regulation of substantia nigra function

Jana Velikova, Solomon L. Moshe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The substantia nigra is an important brain nucleus involved in the expression of movement disorders and seizures. The two most common movement disorders affecting the substantia nigra, Parkinson's disease and Tourette syndrome, show gender differences and age-related onset. To assess the substrates for the gender and age specificity of substantia nigra-related disorders, we determined the functional properties of the substantia nigra γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) system along its anterior-posterior axis, using localized microinfusions of muscimol (a GABAA agonist) and susceptibility to motor seizures in rats. In the substantia nigra, there are sex-specific differences in the topographic segregation and functionality of GABAA systems. In mature male rats there are two distinct regions mediating opposite effects on seizures; in female rats there is only one region that can affect seizures. In the neonatal period, the presence of circulating testosterone is essential for the development of a substantia nigra region that exerts proconvulsant effects throughout the rat's life, a unique feature of the male substantia nigra. The final maturation of the substantia nigra occurs in the peripubertal period, and is in part regulated by testosterone as well. The recognition of the existence of distinct sex- and age-specific substantia nigra features can be translated into new cures of disorders affecting the substantia nigra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)596-601
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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Substantia Nigra
Sex Characteristics
Seizures
Movement Disorders
Testosterone
GABA-A Receptor Agonists
Aminobutyrates
Tourette Syndrome
Muscimol
Age of Onset
Parkinson Disease
Brain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Sexual dimorphism and developmental regulation of substantia nigra function. / Velikova, Jana; Moshe, Solomon L.

In: Annals of Neurology, Vol. 50, No. 5, 2001, p. 596-601.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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