Stephen B. Dunnett

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The basic organization of the catecholamine-containing neuronal systems and their axonal projections in the brain was initially worked out using classical histofluorescence techniques during the 1960s and 1970s. The introduction of more versatile immunohistochemical methods, along with a range of highly sensitive tract-tracing techniques, has provided a(More)
Transgenic mice expressing exon 1 of the human Huntington's disease (HD) gene carrying a 141-157 CAG repeat (line R6/2) develop a progressive neurological phenotype with motor symptoms resembling those seen in HD. We have characterized the motor deficits in R6/2 mice using a battery of behavioral tests selected to measure motor aspects of swimming, fore-(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant progressive and fatal neurodegenerative brain disorder caused by an expanded CAG/polyglutamine repeat in the coding region of the gene. Presymptomatic Huntington's disease patients often exhibit cognitive deficits before the onset of classical symptoms. To investigate the possibility that changes in(More)
We have demonstrated that immediate early genes can be differentially activated within the central nervous system. We examined the effects of tetanic stimulation in the hippocampus and of noxious sensory stimulation of the spinal cord on the expression of eight immediate early genes. Induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus resulted in(More)
To provide a more specific test of memory impairments following lesions to central cholinergic systems, rats were trained on an operant delayed matching task. Ibotenic acid lesions of the nucleus basalis produced a disruption of performance at all delay intervals (a parallel downward shift in the delay-performance curve). By contrast, fimbriafornix(More)
A novel reaching test for the rat has been developed to assess the independent use of forelimbs in skilled reaching and grasping tasks. The apparatus is a plexiglas box with a removable baited double staircase. Food pellets are placed on the staircase and presented bilaterally at 7 graded stages of reaching difficulty to provide objective measures of side(More)
Cognitive decline is apparent in the early stages of Huntington's disease and progressively worsens throughout the course of the disease. Expression of the human Huntington's disease mutation in mice (R6/2 line) causes a progressive neurological phenotype with motor symptoms resembling those seen in Huntington's disease. Here we describe the cognitive(More)
The effects of discrete bilateral ibotenic acid lesions to 3 areas of striatum were examined on a conditional visual discrimination task involving temporal frequency (SLOW vs FAST flashes) that had previously been shown to be sensitive to the effects of dorsal striatal dopamine depletion. Two of the groups, namely, those with nucleus accumbens (ACC) and(More)
The degeneration of forebrain dopamine systems in Parkinson's disease has been an effective target for pharmaceutical research over the past four decades. However, although dopamine replacement may alleviate the symptoms of the disease, it does not halt the underlying neuronal degeneration. The past decade has seen major advances in identifying discrete(More)
Degeneration of the cholinergic magnocellular neurons in the basal forebrain and their cortical projections is a major feature of the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, two experiments examined the disruptive effects on visual attentional performance of two different manipulations that reduce central cholinergic function. In Expt.(More)