Effects of age, gender, and gonadectomy on neurochemistry and behavior in animal models of Parkinson's disease

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The effects of aging and gender on the neurochemistry of the dopaminergic system have been studied extensively; however, data on comparative behavioral consequences of lesions of the dopaminergic system in aging and in female animals are limited. This study presents experimental results on the behavioral and morphological outcome in young, aging, and gonadectomized male and female rats in the 6-OHDA model of Parkinson's disease. Both young and aging male animals were more susceptible to 6-OHDA than females: female rats had significantly less dopaminergic cell loss and showed a higher degree of behavioral recovery. Although the dopaminergic cell loss was only slightly more in the aging rats of the same sex, they showed more severe behavioral deficits in both gender groups. Ovariectomy did not significantly influence the dopaminergic cell loss, but behavioral recovery was worse when compared to non-ovariectomized females. In contrast, castrated males had significantly less dopaminergic cell loss than non-castrated males, but the behavioral recovery was not significantly better. The obtained results are discussed in light of the available literature on the age and gender differences in animals models of Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-287
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 27 2006



  • 6-hydroxydopamine
  • Aging
  • Gender
  • Gonadectomy
  • Rat
  • Substantia nigra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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