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Deficits in the Activation and Phosphorylation of Hippocampal Tyrosine Hydroxylase in the Aged Fischer 344 Rat Following Intraventricular Administration of 6-Hydroxydopamine

Authors

  • James R. Unnerstall,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
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  • Allison Ladner

    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. J. R. Unnerstall at Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology (M/C 512), University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, 808 S. Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60612, U.S.A.

Abstract

Abstract: Tyrosine hydroxylase activity was measured under optimal and suboptimal assay conditions in hippocampal extracts from young (2 month), mature (12 month), and old (24 month) Fischer 344 male rats 72 h after the infusion of 200 µg of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine or vehicle into the lateral ventricle. The lesion resulted in a 45–55% decrease of tyrosine hydroxylase activity measured under optimal conditions (pH 6.1, 3.0 mM 6-methyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropterin) and an ∼35% decrease in the relative concentration of immunoreactive tyrosine hydroxylase. When measured under suboptimal conditions (pH 6.6, 0.7 mM 6-methyl-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropterin), tyrosine hydroxylase activity in 2- and 12-month-old lesioned animals was twice that measured in vehicle-treated animals. However, in the old lesioned animals, tyrosine hydroxylase activity measured under suboptimal conditions was not different from that measured in age-matched vehicle-treated animals. Isoforms of tyrosine hydroxylase were identified on immunoblots after two-dimensional gel electrophoresis using enhanced chemiluminescence. The relative proportion of lower pl isoforms of tyrosine hydroxylase in the 2-month-old lesioned animals was greater than that observed in vehicle-treated controls. In contrast, no difference was seen in the relative proportion of tyrosine hydroxylase isoforms in the 24-month-old lesioned versus control animals. These data indicate that the ability of locus ceruleus neurons to rapidly respond to and compensate for insult is attenuated in 24-month-old Fischer 344 rats due to a deficit in stimulus-evoked enzyme phosphorylation.

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