Lesions in monkey globus pallidus externus exacerbate parkinsonian symptoms

Jianyu Zhang, Gary S. Russo, Klaus Mewes, David B. Rye, Jerrold L. Vitek

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22 Scopus citations


To further define the role of the external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe) in the development of parkinsonian motor signs, two rhesus monkeys were made parkinsonian with the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Behavioral assessments of bradykinesia and akinesia as well as single neuron recordings in the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) were performed in both monkeys before and after ablating the sensorimotor portion of GPe. The effects of apomorphine on behavior and neuronal activity were also assessed in the parkinsonian monkeys before and after GPe ablation. We found that lesions in GPe exacerbated parkinsonian symptoms, altered neuronal activity in GPi, and reduced the therapeutic effects of apomorphine. These results support the hypothesis that GPe can influence GPi neuronal activity and is directly involved in parkinsonism. In addition, these data suggest that the inclusion of GPe in pallidotomy lesions for the treatment of Parkinson's disease can block the beneficial effects of antiparkinsonian medications and should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-453
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Globus pallidus
  • MPTP
  • Monkey
  • Pallidotomy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Radio frequency ablation


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