In Vivo Microdialysis in Parkinson’s Research

  • Giuseppe Di Giovanni
  • Ennio Esposito
  • Vincenzo Di MatteoEmail author
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa book series (NEURALTRANS, volume 73)


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is primarily characterized by the degeneration of dopamine (DA) neurons in the nigrostriatal system, which in turn produces profound neurochemical changes within the basal ganglia, representing the neural substrate for parkinsonian motor symptoms. The pathogenesis of the disease is still not completely understood, but environmental and genetic factors are thought to play important roles. Research into the pathogenesis and the development of new therapeutic intervention strategies that will slow or stop the progression of the disease in human has rapidly advanced by the use of neurotoxins that specifically target DA neurons. Over the years, a broad variety of experimental models of the disease has been developed and applied in diverse animal species. The two most common toxin models used employ 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine/1-methyl-4- phenilpyridinium ion (MPTP/MPP+), either given systemically or locally applied into the nigrostriatal pathway, to resemble PD features in animals. Both neurotoxins selectively and rapidly destroy catecolaminergic neurons, although with different mechanisms. Since in vivo microdialysis coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography is an established technique for studying physiological, pharmacological, and pathological changes of a wide range of low molecular weight substances in the brain extracellular fluid, here we review the most prominent animal and human data obtained by the use of this technique in PD research.


6-OHDA Basal ganglia Free oxygen radicals. Microdialysis MPP+ MPTP Parkinson’s disease ROS 



Hydroxyl radicals


singlet oxygen




4-hydroxybenzoic acid


5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid








Angiotensin II converting enzyme


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor








DA transporter


Deep brain stimulation


3,4-dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid


Embryonic stem cells


Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor




Globus pallidus external segment


Globus pallidus internal segment




Glutathione disulfide


High performance liquid chromatography


Homovanillic acid


Inducible nitric oxide synthase


Low-density lipoprotein




N (G)-nitro-L- arginine methyl ester


Monoamine oxidases


1-methyl-4-phenilpyridinium ion




mesenchymal stem cells




neuronal Nitric oxide synthase


Nociceptin/orfanin FQ


Superoxide anions




Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase


Parkinson's disease


Reactive oxygen species


Supplementary motor cortex


Substantia nigra pars compacta


Substantia nigra pars reticulata


Superoxide dismutase


Subthalamic nucleus


High-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus


Tyrosine hydroxylase



The authors thank Ms. Barbara Mariani for her help in preparing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien Printed in Germany 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Di Giovanni
    • 2
  • Ennio Esposito
    • 1
  • Vincenzo Di Matteo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”Consorzio Mario Negri SudSanta Maria ImbaroItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Medicina SperimentaleSezione di Fisiologia Umana, “G. Pagano”, Universitá degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly

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