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Abstract #3394

fMRI reveals plasticity compensating for early dopaminergic loss at corticostriatal synapse

Chiao-Chi Chen1, Yi-Hua Hsu1, Nai-Wei Yao1, and Chen Chang1

1Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

The dopaminergic system possesses striking plasticity compensating for motor aberrations from neuronal loss. Little is known regarding the compensation mechanism during dopaminergic loss, preventing the aberration from being arrested and treated early. Here we present in vivo imaging evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging showing that, after dopaminergic depletion, the dorsolateral striatum (DOLS) exhibited an early and transient vasodilation cluster in response to specific forepaw stimulation. Activation of DOLS NMDA receptors causes this vasodilation, protects dopaminergic fibers from denervation, and counteracts motor deficits. The findings have clinical implications for early detection and intervention in brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

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