Reduced vocal variability in a zebra finch model of dopamine depletion: implications for Parkinson disease

Julie Elizabeth Miller, George W. Hafzalla, Zachary D. Burkett, Cynthia M. Fox, Stephanie A. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Midbrain dopamine (DA) modulates the activity of basal ganglia circuitry important for motor control in a variety of species. In songbirds, DA underlies motivational behavior including reproductive drive and is implicated as a gatekeeper for neural activity governing vocal variability. In the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, DA levels increase in Area X, a song-dedicated subregion of the basal ganglia, when a male bird sings his courtship song to a female (female-directed; FD). Levels remain stable when he sings a less stereotyped version that is not directed toward a conspecific (undirected; UD). Here, we used a mild dose of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) to reduce presynaptic DA input to Area X and characterized the effects on FD and UD behaviors. Immunoblots were used to quantify levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as a biomarker for DA afferent loss in vehicle- and 6-OHDA-injected birds. Following 6-OHDA administration, TH signals were lower in Area X but not in an adjacent subregion, ventral striatal-pallidum (VSP). A postsynaptic marker of DA signaling was unchanged in both regions. These observations suggest that effects were specific to presynaptic afferents of vocal basal ganglia. Concurrently, vocal variability was reduced during UD but not FD song. Similar decreases in vocal variability are observed in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), but the link to DA loss is not well-understood. The 6-OHDA songbird model offers a unique opportunity to further examine how DA loss in cortico-basal ganglia pathways affects vocal control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12599
JournalPhysiological Reports
Volume3
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Fingerprint

Finches
Equidae
Parkinson Disease
Dopamine
Oxidopamine
Basal Ganglia
Music
Songbirds
Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
Birds
Courtship
Corpus Striatum
Reproductive Behavior
Neurotoxins
Mesencephalon
Biomarkers

Keywords

  • 6-hydroxydopamine
  • Parkinson disease
  • songbird
  • zebra finch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology

Cite this

Reduced vocal variability in a zebra finch model of dopamine depletion : implications for Parkinson disease. / Miller, Julie Elizabeth; Hafzalla, George W.; Burkett, Zachary D.; Fox, Cynthia M.; White, Stephanie A.

In: Physiological Reports, Vol. 3, No. 11, e12599, 01.11.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Miller, Julie Elizabeth ; Hafzalla, George W. ; Burkett, Zachary D. ; Fox, Cynthia M. ; White, Stephanie A. / Reduced vocal variability in a zebra finch model of dopamine depletion : implications for Parkinson disease. In: Physiological Reports. 2015 ; Vol. 3, No. 11.
@article{7a6c6739936f45d8a82ea8e948f77a85,
title = "Reduced vocal variability in a zebra finch model of dopamine depletion: implications for Parkinson disease",
abstract = "Midbrain dopamine (DA) modulates the activity of basal ganglia circuitry important for motor control in a variety of species. In songbirds, DA underlies motivational behavior including reproductive drive and is implicated as a gatekeeper for neural activity governing vocal variability. In the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, DA levels increase in Area X, a song-dedicated subregion of the basal ganglia, when a male bird sings his courtship song to a female (female-directed; FD). Levels remain stable when he sings a less stereotyped version that is not directed toward a conspecific (undirected; UD). Here, we used a mild dose of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) to reduce presynaptic DA input to Area X and characterized the effects on FD and UD behaviors. Immunoblots were used to quantify levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as a biomarker for DA afferent loss in vehicle- and 6-OHDA-injected birds. Following 6-OHDA administration, TH signals were lower in Area X but not in an adjacent subregion, ventral striatal-pallidum (VSP). A postsynaptic marker of DA signaling was unchanged in both regions. These observations suggest that effects were specific to presynaptic afferents of vocal basal ganglia. Concurrently, vocal variability was reduced during UD but not FD song. Similar decreases in vocal variability are observed in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), but the link to DA loss is not well-understood. The 6-OHDA songbird model offers a unique opportunity to further examine how DA loss in cortico-basal ganglia pathways affects vocal control.",
keywords = "6-hydroxydopamine, Parkinson disease, songbird, zebra finch",
author = "Miller, {Julie Elizabeth} and Hafzalla, {George W.} and Burkett, {Zachary D.} and Fox, {Cynthia M.} and White, {Stephanie A.}",
year = "2015",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.14814/phy2.12599",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "3",
journal = "Physiological Reports",
issn = "2051-817X",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Inc.",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reduced vocal variability in a zebra finch model of dopamine depletion

T2 - implications for Parkinson disease

AU - Miller, Julie Elizabeth

AU - Hafzalla, George W.

AU - Burkett, Zachary D.

AU - Fox, Cynthia M.

AU - White, Stephanie A.

PY - 2015/11/1

Y1 - 2015/11/1

N2 - Midbrain dopamine (DA) modulates the activity of basal ganglia circuitry important for motor control in a variety of species. In songbirds, DA underlies motivational behavior including reproductive drive and is implicated as a gatekeeper for neural activity governing vocal variability. In the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, DA levels increase in Area X, a song-dedicated subregion of the basal ganglia, when a male bird sings his courtship song to a female (female-directed; FD). Levels remain stable when he sings a less stereotyped version that is not directed toward a conspecific (undirected; UD). Here, we used a mild dose of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) to reduce presynaptic DA input to Area X and characterized the effects on FD and UD behaviors. Immunoblots were used to quantify levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as a biomarker for DA afferent loss in vehicle- and 6-OHDA-injected birds. Following 6-OHDA administration, TH signals were lower in Area X but not in an adjacent subregion, ventral striatal-pallidum (VSP). A postsynaptic marker of DA signaling was unchanged in both regions. These observations suggest that effects were specific to presynaptic afferents of vocal basal ganglia. Concurrently, vocal variability was reduced during UD but not FD song. Similar decreases in vocal variability are observed in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), but the link to DA loss is not well-understood. The 6-OHDA songbird model offers a unique opportunity to further examine how DA loss in cortico-basal ganglia pathways affects vocal control.

AB - Midbrain dopamine (DA) modulates the activity of basal ganglia circuitry important for motor control in a variety of species. In songbirds, DA underlies motivational behavior including reproductive drive and is implicated as a gatekeeper for neural activity governing vocal variability. In the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata, DA levels increase in Area X, a song-dedicated subregion of the basal ganglia, when a male bird sings his courtship song to a female (female-directed; FD). Levels remain stable when he sings a less stereotyped version that is not directed toward a conspecific (undirected; UD). Here, we used a mild dose of the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) to reduce presynaptic DA input to Area X and characterized the effects on FD and UD behaviors. Immunoblots were used to quantify levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) as a biomarker for DA afferent loss in vehicle- and 6-OHDA-injected birds. Following 6-OHDA administration, TH signals were lower in Area X but not in an adjacent subregion, ventral striatal-pallidum (VSP). A postsynaptic marker of DA signaling was unchanged in both regions. These observations suggest that effects were specific to presynaptic afferents of vocal basal ganglia. Concurrently, vocal variability was reduced during UD but not FD song. Similar decreases in vocal variability are observed in patients with Parkinson disease (PD), but the link to DA loss is not well-understood. The 6-OHDA songbird model offers a unique opportunity to further examine how DA loss in cortico-basal ganglia pathways affects vocal control.

KW - 6-hydroxydopamine

KW - Parkinson disease

KW - songbird

KW - zebra finch

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84976556546&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84976556546&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.14814/phy2.12599

DO - 10.14814/phy2.12599

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84976556546

VL - 3

JO - Physiological Reports

JF - Physiological Reports

SN - 2051-817X

IS - 11

M1 - e12599

ER -