The purpose of this investigation was to determine if a chronic Parkinson's disease mouse model will display less certainty in its gait pattern due to basal ganglia dysfunction. A chronic Parkinson's disease mouse model was induced by injecting male C57/BL mice with 10 doses of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (25 mg/kg) (MPTP) and probenecid (250 mg/kg) (P) over 5 weeks. This chronic model produces a severe and persistent loss of nigrostriatal neurons resulting in dopamine depletion and locomotor impairment. The control mice were treated with probenecid alone. Fifteen weeks after the last MPTP/P treatment, the mice were videotaped in the sagittal plane with a digital camera (60 Hz) as they ran on a motorized treadmill at a speed of 10 m/min. The indices of gait and gait variability were calculated. Stride length was significantly (p = 0.016) more variable in the chronic MPTP/P mice. Additionally, the chronic MPTP/P mice had a statistically less certain gait pattern when compared to the control mice (p = 0.02). These results suggest that variability in the gait pattern can be used to evaluate changes in neural function. Additionally, our results imply that disorder of the basal ganglia results in less certainty in modulating the descending motor command that controls the gait pattern.
- Parkinson's disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas