QPS Neuropharmacology offers a comprehensive battery of in-house validated behavioral tests to characterize lateral lesions in Parkinson´s disease models and supports the development of treatment strategies for this debilitating disorder. In our quest to understand Parkinson´s disease pathology and to test drug candidates, we employ induced models, such as the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion model, in which a unilateral lesion of dopaminergic neurons is induced, leading to a behavioral and biochemical asymmetry.
One way to evaluate lateral lesions is by assessing the asymmetry in motor performance between the lesioned and non-lesioned sides. With the cylinder test, quantification of forelimb use during rearing can be assessed while the corner turn test highlights side preferences since impaired animals favorable use limbs that are contralateral to the lesion side. To measure lateralized sensorimotor neglect the corridor test and corner turn test are utilized. These tests provide insights into the degree of asymmetry of unprompted motor behavior. In contrast, the rotation test requires the administration of dopaminergic agents, such as apomorphine or amphetamine, to exacerbate dopaminergic imbalance and cause unilaterally lesioned animals to turn vigorously. The number and direction of rotations are indicators of the severity and laterality of the lesion.
In addition to the behavioral characterization, histological or biochemical quantification of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter protein (DAT) can be used to assess the degree of dopamine depletion in the lesioned hemisphere compared to the non-lesioned side.
By employing a combination of behavioral assessments, histological examinations, and neurochemical analyses, the degree of lateral asymmetry, dopaminergic denervation, and axonal degeneration in induced Parkinson´s disease models as well as the effect of different drug candidates can be evaluated.
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