Calcitriol protection against dopamine loss induced by intracerebroventricular administration of 6-hydroxydopamine

Michael P. Smith, Anita Fletcher-Turner, David M. Yurek, Wayne A. Cass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Calcitriol has been implicated as an agent that has neuroprotective effects in various animal models of diseases, possibly by upregulating glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). The present study examined the neuroprotective effects of calcitriol in a model of early Parkinson's disease. Rats were treated daily with calcitriol or saline for 7 days before an intraventricular injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), and then for 1 day or daily for 31/2 to 4 weeks after lesioning. Evoked overflow and tissue content of dopamine (DA) were determined 31/2 to 4 weeks post lesion. The 8-day calcitriol treatment did not attenuate 6-OHDA-induced decreases in evoked overflow of DA, nor did it protect against 6-OHDA-induced reductions in tissue levels of DA in the striatum or substantia nigra. However, the long-term calcitriol treatment did significantly increase evoked overflow of DA, as well as the amount of DA in the striatum, compared to saline treated animals. GDNF was significantly increased in the substantia nigra, but not in the striatum, of non-lesioned, calcitriol treated rats. These results suggest that long-term treatment with calcitriol can provide partial protection for dopaminergic neurons against the effects of intraventricularly administered 6-OHDA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank Laura Peters for technical assistance. This study was supported in part by United States Public Health Service Grants AG17963, AG00242 and NS42862.


  • 6-Hydroxydopamine
  • Dihydroxyvitamin D
  • Dopamine
  • GDNF
  • Striatum
  • Substantia nigra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcitriol protection against dopamine loss induced by intracerebroventricular administration of 6-hydroxydopamine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this