After striatal injury, sprouting dopaminergic fibres grow towards and intimately surround wound macrophages which, together with microglia, express the dopaminergic neurotrophic factors glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). To evaluate the importance of these endogenously secreted neurotrophic factors in generating striatal peri-wound dopaminergic sprouting, the peri-wound expression of BDNF or GDNF was inhibited by intrastriatal infusion of antisense oligonucleotides for 2 weeks in mice. Knock-down of both BDNF and GDNF mRNA and protein levels in the wounded striatum were confirmed by in situ hybridization and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Dopamine transporter immunohistochemistry revealed that inhibition of either BDNF or GDNF expression resulted in a marked decrease in the intensity of peri-wound sprouting. Quantification of this effect using [H3]-mazindol autoradiography confirmed that peri-wound sprouting was significantly reduced in mice receiving BDNF or GDNF antisense infusions whilst control infusions of buffered saline or sense oligonucleotides resulted in the pronounced peri-wound sprouting response normally associated with striatal injury. BDNF and GDNF thus appear to be important neurotrophic factors inducing dopaminergic sprouting after striatal injury.
- Striatal injury