Dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) innervate the dorsal striatum (generating the ‘nigro-striatal pathway’) and are involved in the control of voluntary movement. During adult life, their selective degeneration is responsible for the motor defects observed in individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
During embryonic life, SNC neurons nonselectively project to the dorsal and ventral striatum. The refinement of fibers to form the nigro-striatal pathway occurs at a later stage.
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