Neurochemical System of the Retina Involved in the Control of Movement
AuthorWillis, GL; Freelance, CB
Source TitleFrontiers in Neurology
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
University of Melbourne Author/sFreelance, Christopher
AffiliationSchool of Biomedical Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWillis, G. L. & Freelance, C. B. (2017). Neurochemical System of the Retina Involved in the Control of Movement. FRONTIERS IN NEUROLOGY, 8 (JUL), https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00324.
Access StatusOpen Access
Recent studies have revealed that the retina may exert control over deep brain function and may be importantly involved in the etiology, progression, and treatment of disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD). While such a concept is uncharted territory and even less is known about the mechanism by which this might be achieved, this study was undertaken to determine how retinal dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), and melatonin (MEL) neurotransmitter systems might be involved in the control of movement in their own right. To explore these further, intravitreal (IVIT) injections of DA, 5-HT, and MEL were made 0.5 or 3 h prior to testing horizontal and vertical movement in the open field as well as assessment on three motor tests used routinely to evaluate movement as a preclinical model of PD. The doses of DA (2 µl of 25 and 75 µg/µl), 5-HT (2 µl of 5 and 15 µg/µl), and MEL (2 µl of 5 µg/µl) were chosen because of previous work demonstrating an anatomically precise effect of these transmitters after they were injected directly into the brain. The postinjection times of testing were also chosen on the basis of previous intracerebral and IVIT work intimating the importance of the circadian cycle in determining the efficacy of such effects. 0.5 h after IVIT injection of DA at the 25 and 75 µg/µl doses, significant inhibition of motor function was observed. While IVIT injection of 10 or 30 µg of 5-HT also inhibited motor performance, this was significantly less than that seen with DA. In fact, IVIT injection increases motor performance compared to vehicle injection on some parameters. The IVIT injection of 10 µg of MEL facilitated motor function on many parameters compared to DA, 5-HT, and vehicle injection. When rats were tested 3 h after IVIT injection, the inhibition of vertical movement was also observed compared to controls. The present results illustrate that specific retinal neurotransmitter systems participate in the normal control of bodily motor function. The possible involvement of these systems in movement disorders such as PD is the subject of ongoing research.
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