Quinolinic acid (QA) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate agonist that has been shown to produce neurotoxic effects that mimic certain neurodegenerative diseases when administered to laboratory animals. Intrastriatal injections of QA in rats have been used extensively to produce some of the neuropathological and behavioral deficits that are analogous to Huntington's disease (HD). However, acute intrastriatal injections of QA produce symptoms that are not analogous to the progressive nature of HD. Thus far, models using chronic administration of QA that produce HD-like behavioral and neuroanatomical changes have necessitated the use of a relatively bulky and fragile microdialytic pump apparatus. The present study tested an alternative way of chronically administering QA. Specifically, this study tested whether gradual release of QA from ethylene vinylacetate (EVA) polymers could produce symptoms analogous to HD. Rats received either no implants or bilateral intrastriatal implants of polymers with or without QA. Subsequent tests for spontaneous motor activity (SMA), grip strength, balance, and learning ability in a radial-arm-water-maze task revealed QA-induced impairments in balance and learning ability, but did not affect grip strength or SMA. Histological analysis revealed QA-induced enlargement of lateral ventricles, striatal atrophy, and striatal neuronal loss, with relative sparing of NADPH- diaphorase-positive neurons. These results suggest that QA released from polymers can produce behavioral and neuropathological profiles analogous to early stages of HD and that EVA polymers offer a useful means of chronically delivering QA in rodent models of neurodegeneration. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Ethylene vinylacetate polymer
- Huntington's disease
- Motor performance
- Quinolinic acid
- Spatial learning