Rapid neurotrophic actions of an ACTH/MSH(4-9) analogue after nigrostriatal 6-OHDA lesioning

Francis J. Antonawich, Efrain C. Azmitia, Fleur L. Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ACTH peptide fragments demonstrate potent neurotrophic effects on peripheral nerves in situ, central neurons in culture, and have been implicated to have effects on central neurons in vivo. Neurotoxic lesioning of the nigrostriatal system, which depletes the striatum of dopamine, provides a feasible model of central regeneration in which to test these peptides. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were lesioned unilaterally with 6-hydroxydopamine ( 8 μg 4 μl), infused into the substantia nigra. They were subsequently treated with 10 μg/kg IP of Org 2766 [ACTH/MSH(4-9) analogue] or saline every 24 h starting immediately after the infusion and were observed for 2 weeks. Rotational behavior data indicate that Org 2766 significantly decreases ipsiversive turning (p < 0.05), induced by amphetamine (2 mg/kg), as well as accelerating the onset of denervation supersensitivity induced by apomorphine (0.05 mg/kg). Evaluation of dopamine immunohistochemistry, using an anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibody, demonstrates an enhanced intensity of staining in the ORG 2766-treated tissue compared to its saline counterpart. This difference is confirmed and quantified through specific high-affinity dopamine uptake. Dopamine uptake is about 17% higher in the striata of animals treated with Org 2766. Higher dopamine uptake levels in these ACTH-treated animals correlate with greater fiber density in this group. Therefore, it appears that treatment with the ACTH/MSH(4-9) analogue Org 2766 (10 μg/kg/24 h) offers a protective effect from 6-OHDA lesions in the substantia nigra as well as accelerating various compensatory mechanisms involved in functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1324
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993


  • ACTH
  • Denervation supersensitivity
  • Dopamine
  • Functional recovery
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neurotrophic
  • Org 2766
  • Rotational behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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