Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by reduction in the number of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). PD patients have classical motor symptoms exemplified by tremors and postural instability, and non-classical symptoms such as sleep disorders and respiratory deficit, that little is known. Recent studies from our laboratory have shown that there is a reduction in resting respiratory frequency and ventilation in an experimental model of PD induced by bilateral injection of 6-hydroxydopamine in the striatum. In addition, in these studies, neuronal loss was observed in the region of pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC), responsible for respiratory rhythm generation. However, there is still no knowledge of the existence of projections from SNpc to this medullary nucleus, which could justify the neuronal loss.Thus, the aim of the present project is to investigate if there are projections from SNpc to preBötC and to evaluate whether there is loss in these projections in an experimental model of PD. For that, injections of retrograde and anterograde tracers will be performed in these regions in control or PD animals. After 7-10 days, the animals will be euthanized, perfused and will have their brains removed for further immunohistochemical treatments in order to detect the tracers and neurons involved.
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