Effects of dorsal noradrenergic bundle lesions on recovery after sensorimotor cortex injury.
Several lines of evidence suggest that the recovery of the ability of rats to traverse a narrow beam after unilateral injury to the sensorimotor cortex is noradrenergically mediated. We tested the hypotheses that the influence of norepinephrine on beam-walking recovery occurs, at least partially, through effects in the contralateral and/or ipsilateral cerebral cortex. Rats had either a selective left or right 6-hydroxydopamine lesion or sham lesion of the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNB) 2 weeks before suction-ablation or sham injury of the right sensorimotor cortex. The rats' abilities to perform the beam-walking task were measured over the 10 days following cortex surgery. DNB lesions did not affect the initial severity of the beam-walking deficit and had no effect on the performance of the task in rats with sham cortex injuries. Lesions of the contralateral but not ipsilateral DNB significantly impaired recovery. Further, in cortically lesioned rats with contralateral DNB lesions, norepinephrine content in the cerebral cortex opposite to the sensorimotor cortex lesion was significantly correlated with recovery. These data suggest that the effect of norepinephrine on recovery of beam-walking ability may be partially exerted in the cerebral cortex contralateral to the injury.
Goldstein, LB; Bullman, S
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