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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-24355

Molina-Luna, K; Pekanovic, A; Röhrich, S; Hertler, B; Schubring-Giese, M; Rioult-Pedotti, M S; Luft, A R (2009). Dopamine in motor cortex is necessary for skill learning and synaptic plasticity. PLoS ONE, 4(9):e7082.

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Preliminary evidence indicates that dopamine given by mouth facilitates the learning of motor skills and improves the recovery of movement after stroke. The mechanism of these phenomena is unknown. Here, we describe a mechanism by demonstrating in rat that dopaminergic terminals and receptors in primary motor cortex (M1) enable motor skill learning and enhance M1 synaptic plasticity. Elimination of dopaminergic terminals in M1 specifically impaired motor skill acquisition, which was restored upon DA substitution. Execution of a previously acquired skill was unaffected. Reversible blockade of M1 D1 and D2 receptors temporarily impaired skill acquisition but not execution, and reduced long-term potentiation (LTP) within M1, a form of synaptic plasticity critically involved in skill learning. These findings identify a behavioral and functional role of dopaminergic signaling in M1. DA in M1 optimizes the learning of a novel motor skill.


86 citations in Web of Science®
92 citations in Scopus®
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77 downloads since deposited on 24 Nov 2009
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:24 Nov 2009 10:00
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:34
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Publisher DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0007082
PubMed ID:19759902

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