Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Associate Professor Dorothy Oorschot

Dorothy OorschotAssociate Professor Dorothy Oorschot’s research is focused on the structure and function of the normal and hypoxic (oxygen-deprived) basal ganglia. In normal basal ganglia, she is looking at neural circuits to test hypotheses on the cellular basis of movement and learning. She is also investigating treatments to rescue striatal neurons from hypoxic-induced cell death to help prevent cerebral palsy.

Her laboratory is developing a new animal model of brain injury in infants born extremely prematurely. This is relevant to the potential development of treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and for periventricular leukomalacia. Stereological (three-dimensional) ultrastructural methods and behavioural methods are being used to unravel the normal and ‘diseased’ structure and function of the basal ganglia and to test hypotheses about Huntington’s disease.

To advance knowledge on the circuitry for non-reward or disappointment, in collaboration with Dr Louise Parr-Brownlie and Dr Rachel Sizemore, Associate Professor Oorschot is mapping the local connectivity between specific GABAergic and dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. A previous mapping project with Associate Professor John Reynolds and Dr Rachel Sizemore teased out the circuitry of the striatal cholinergic interneurons to test various hypotheses about their function. Associate Professor Oorschot is the sole senior stereologist in a collaborative Health Research Programme Grant with Professor Mike Dragunow and Professor Richard Faull of the University of Auckland. For this grant, the neurological basis of motor, mood, or mixed symptoms in Huntington's disease is being investigated.

Associate Professor Oorschot is also a member of the Basal Ganglia Research Group. Her current research is funded by the Neurological Foundation and Lottery Health and previous research was funded by the Otago Medical Research Foundation, the Marsden Fund and the Health Research Council.

Find out more about Associate Professor Oorschot’s research.

^ Top of page

Publications

Oorschot, D. E. (2017). Cell types in the different nuclei of the basal ganglia. In H. Steiner & K. Y. Tseng (Eds.), Handbook of basal ganglia structure and function. (2nd ed.) (pp. 99-117). London, UK: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-802206-1.00005-2

Oorschot, D. E. (2017, March ). Synaptic connectome of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, striatal spiny projection neurons and striatal cholinergic interneurons in the rat. Verbal presentation at the 12th International Basal Ganglia Society Meeting (IBAGS XII), Mérida, Mexico.

Aghoghovwia, B. E., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Absolute number of parvicellular and magnocellular neurons in the red nucleus of the rat midbrain: A stereological study. Journal of Anatomy, 229(3), 406-415. doi: 10.1111/joa.12495

Sizemore, R. J., Zhang, R., Lin, N., Goddard, L., Wastney, T. B., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Reynolds, J. N. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Marked differences in the number and type of synapses innervating the somata and primary dendrites of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, striatal cholinergic interneurons and striatal spiny projection neurons in the rat. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 524(5), 1062-1080. doi: 10.1002/cne.23891

Okpe, O., Goddard, L., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Treatment of brain injury due to extreme prematurity: Effect of melatonin on ADHD-like hyperactivity. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 34th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 57). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Chapter in Book - Research

Oorschot, D. E. (2017). Cell types in the different nuclei of the basal ganglia. In H. Steiner & K. Y. Tseng (Eds.), Handbook of basal ganglia structure and function. (2nd ed.) (pp. 99-117). London, UK: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-802206-1.00005-2

Oorschot, D. E. (2010). Cell types in the different nuclei of the basal ganglia. In H. Steiner & K. Y. Tseng (Eds.), Handbook of basal ganglia structure and function. (pp. 63-74). London: Academic Press.

Oorschot, D. E., Tompkins, M. M., & Galvin, K. A. (2003). Effect of delayed treatment with basic fibroblast growth factor on the survival of striatal spiny projection neurons after perinatal hypoxia-ischemia. In K. Satoh, S. Suzuki & M. Matsunaga (Eds.), Advances in brain research. Cerebrovascular disorders and neurodegeneration. (pp. 71-79). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Oorschot, D. E., Tunstall, M., & Wickens, J. (2002). Local connectivity between striatal spiny projection neurons: A re-evaluation. In L. Nicholson & R. L. N. Faull (Eds.), The Basal Ganglia VII. (pp. 421-434). USA: Plenum Publishers.

Wickens, J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2000). Neural dynamics and surround inhibition in the neostriatum: A possible connection. In R. Miller & J. R. Wickens (Eds.), Conceptual Advances in Brain Research, Brain Dynamics and the Striatal Complex. (pp. 141-150). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic.

Oorschot, D. E. (2000). The domain hypothesis: A central organizing principle for understanding neostriatal circuitry? In R. Miller & J. R. Wickens (Eds.), Conceptual Advances in Brain Research, Brain Dyamics and the Striatal Complex. (pp. 151-163). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic.

^ Top of page

Journal - Research Article

Aghoghovwia, B. E., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Absolute number of parvicellular and magnocellular neurons in the red nucleus of the rat midbrain: A stereological study. Journal of Anatomy, 229(3), 406-415. doi: 10.1111/joa.12495

Sizemore, R. J., Zhang, R., Lin, N., Goddard, L., Wastney, T. B., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Reynolds, J. N. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Marked differences in the number and type of synapses innervating the somata and primary dendrites of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, striatal cholinergic interneurons and striatal spiny projection neurons in the rat. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 524(5), 1062-1080. doi: 10.1002/cne.23891

Cameron, S. H., Alwakeel, A. J., Goddard, L., Hobbs, C. E., Gowing, E. K., Barnett, E. R., Kohe, S. E., Sizemore, R. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2015). Delayed post-treatment with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells is neurorestorative of striatal medium-spiny projection neurons and improves motor function after neonatal rat hypoxia-ischemia. Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience, 68, 56-72. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2015.03.019

Oswald, M. J., Schulz, J. M., Kelsch, W., Oorschot, D. E., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2015). Potentiation of NMDA receptor-mediated transmission in striatal cholinergic interneurons. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 9, 116. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2015.00116

Kim, E. H., Thu, D. C. V., Tippett, L. J., Oorschot, D. E., Hogg, V. M., Roxburgh, R., … Faull, R. L. M. (2014). Cortical interneuron loss and symptom heterogeneity in Huntington disease. Annals of Neurology, 75(5), 717-727. doi: 10.1002/ana.24162

Nana, A. L., Kim, E. H., Thu, D. C. V., Oorschot, D. E., Tippett, L. J., Hogg, V. M., … Faull, R. L. M. (2014). Widespread heterogenous neuronal loss across the cerebral cortex in Huntington's disease. Journal of Huntington's Disease, 3(1), 45-64. doi: 10.3233/JHD-140092

Barry, M. D., Boddington, L. J., Igelström, K. M., Gray, J. P., Shemmell, J., Tseng, K. Y., Oorschot, D. E., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2014). Utility of intracerebral theta burst electrical stimulation to attenuate interhemispheric inhibition and to promote motor recovery after cortical injury in an animal model. Experimental Neurology, 261, 258-266. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2014.05.023

Oorschot, D. E., Voss, L., Covey, M., Goddard, L., Huang, W., Birchall, P., Bilkey, D. K., & Kohe, S. E. (2013). Spectrum of short- and long-term brain pathology and long-term behavioral deficits in male repeated hypoxic rats closely resembling human extreme prematurity. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(29), 11863-77. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.0342-12.2013

Oorschot, D. E., Lin, N., Cooper, B. H., Reynolds, J. N. J., Sun, H., & Wickens, J. R. (2013). Synaptic connectivity between rat striatal spiny projection neurons in vivo: Unexpected multiple somatic innervation in the context of overall sparse proximal connectivity. Basal Ganglia, 3, 93-108. doi: 10.1016/j.baga.2013.04.001

Oorschot, D. E. (2012). The percentage of interneurons in the dorsal striatum of the rat, cat, monkey and human: A critique of the evidence. Basal Ganglia, 3(1), 19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.baga.2012.11.001

Oorschot, D. E. (2011). Indirect measures of neuroprotection are parameters to avoid: Examples from research on neonatal rat hypoxia-ischemia. Image Analysis & Stereology, 30(1), 1-9. doi: 10.5566/ias.v30.p1-9

Sizemore, R. J., Reynolds, J. N. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2010). Number and type of synapses on the distal dendrite of a rat striatal cholinergic interneuron: A quantitative, ultrastructural study. Journal of Anatomy, 217, 223-235. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2010.01264.x

Thu, D. C. V., Oorschot, D. E., Tippett, L. J., Nana, A. L., Hogg, V. M., Synek, B. J., … Faull, R. L. M. (2010). Cell loss in the motor and cingulate cortex correlates with symptomatology in Huntington's disease. Brain, 133(4), 1094-1110. doi: 10.1093/brain/awq047

Oswald, M. J., Oorschot, D. E., Schulz, J. M., Lipski, J., & Reynolds, J. N. J. (2009). IH current generates the afterhyperpolarisation following activation of subthreshold cortical synaptic inputs to striatal cholinergic interneurons. Journal of Physiology, 587(24), 5879-5897. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.177600

Hobbs, C. E., & Oorschot, D. E. (2008). Neonatal rat hypoxia-ischemia: Long-term rescue of striatal neurons and motor skills by combined antioxidant-hypothermia treatment. Brain Pathology, 18(3), 443-454. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2008.00146.x

Hobbs, C. E., Murphy, M. P., Smith, R. A. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2008). Neonatal rat hypoxia-ischemia: Effect of the anti-oxidant mitoquinol, and S-PBN. Pediatrics International, 50(4), 481-488. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2008.02705.x

Oorschot, D. E., Voss, L., Covey, M. V., Bilkey, D. K., & Saunders, S. E. (2007). ADHD-like hyperactivity, with no attention deficit, in adult rats after repeated hypoxia during the equivalent of extreme prematurity. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 166, 315-322.

Covey, M. V., & Oorschot, D. E. (2007). Effect of hypothermic post-treatment on hypoxic-ischemic striatal injury, and normal striatal development, in neonatal rats: A stereological study. Pediatric Research, 62(6), 646-651.

Covey, M. V., Murphy, M. P., Hobbs, C. E., Smith, R. A. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2006). Effect of the mitochondrial antioxidant, Mito Vitamin E, on hypoxic-ischemic striatal injury in neonatal rats: A dose-response and stereological study. Experimental Neurology, 199, 513-519.

Zhang, R., & Oorschot, D. E. (2006). Total number of neurons in the habenular nuclei of the rat epithalamus: A stereological study. Journal of Anatomy, 208, 577-585.

Galvin, K. A., & Oorschot, D. E. (2003). Continuous low-dose treatment with brain-derived neurotrophic factor or neurotrophin-3 protects striatal medium spiny neurons from mild neonatal hypoxia/ischemia: A stereological study. Neuroscience, 118, 1023-1032.

Partadiredja, G., Miller, R., & Oorschot, D. E. (2003). The number, size, and type of axons in rat subcortical white matter on left and right sides: A stereological, ultrastructural study. Journal of Neurocytology, 32, 1165-1179.

Tunstall, M., Oorschot, D. E., Kean, A., & Wickens, J. (2002). Inhibitory interactions between spiny projection neurons in the rat striatum. Journal of Neurophysiology, 10, 1263-1269.

Oorschot, D. E., Black, M. J., Rangi, F., & Scarr, E. (2000). Is Fos protein expressed by dying striatal neurons after immature hypoxic-ischemic brain injury? Experimental Neurology, 161, 227-233.

Oorschot, D. E., & McLennan, I. S. (1998). The trophic requirements of mature motoneurons. Brain Research, 789, 315-321.

Galvin, K. A., & Oorschot, D. E. (1998). Postinjury magnesium sulfate treatment is not markedly neuroprotective for striatal medium spiny neurons after perinatal hypoxia/ischemia in the rat. Pediatric Research, 44, 740-745.

Jones, K. R., & Oorschot, D. E. (1998). Do aluminium and/or glutamate induce Alz-50 reactivity? A light microscopic immunohistochemical study. Journal of Neurocytology, 27, 45-57.

Jones, K. R., Black, M. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (1998). Do aluminium and/or glutamate induce Alzheimer PHF-like formation? An electron microscopic study. Journal of Neurocytology, 27, 59-68.

Oorschot, D. E. (1996). Total number of neurons in the neostriatal, pallidal, subthalamic, and substantia nigral nuclei of the rat basal ganglia: a stereological study using the Cavalieri and optical disector methods. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 366, 580-599.

Stuart, D., & Oorschot, D. E. (1995). Embedding, sectioning, immunocytochemical and stereological methods that optimise research on the lesioned adult rat spinal cord. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 61, 5-14.

^ Top of page

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Okpe, O., Goddard, L., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Treatment of brain injury due to extreme prematurity: Effect of melatonin on ADHD-like hyperactivity. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 34th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 57). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Seo, S., Goddard, L., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Sizemore, R. J., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Marked differences in the number and type of synapses innervating the primary dendrites of nigral versus ventral tegmental dopaminergic neurons, and nigral dopaminergic versus striatal spiny projection neurons, in the rat. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 34th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 28). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Oorschot, D. E., & Aghoghovwia, B. E. (2016). Absolute number of parvicellular and magnocellular neurons in the red nucleus of the rat midbrain: A stereological study. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 34th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 44). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Aghoghovwia, B. E., Goddard, L., & Oorschot, D. E. (2016). Effect of delayed post-treatment with adult-sourced adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells on motor function and striatal medium-spiny projection neurons after neonatal rat hypoxia-ischemia. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 34th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 58). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Sizemore, R. J., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Hughes, S. M., & Oorschot, D. E. (2015). Complex GABAergic innervation onto ventral tegmental dopamine neurons. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 33rd International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 30). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Oorschot, D. E., Alwakeel, A. J., Goddard, L., Hobbs, C. E., Gowing, E. K., Barnett, E. R., Kohe, S. E., Sizemore, R. J., & Cameron, S. H. (2015). Delayed post-treatment with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells is neurorestorative of striatal medium-spiny projection neurons and improves motor function after neonatal rat hypoxia-ischemia. In B. Leitch (Ed.), Proceedings of the 33rd International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 31). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Oorschot, D., Zhang, R., Lin, N., Wastney, T., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Reynolds, J. N. J., & Sizemore, R. J. (2015). A stereological transmission electron microscopy study: Marked differences in the number and type of synapses innervating the somata and primary dendrites of three neuronal subtypes in the rat brain. Proceedings of the 27th National Conference on Microscopy. Retrieved from http://microscopy2015.otago.ac.nz/index.html

Oorschot, D. E., Voss, L., Covey, M. V., Goddard, L., Huang, W., Birchall, P. R., Bilkey, D. K., & Kohe, S. E. (2014). Spectrum of short- and long-term brain pathology and long-term behavioural deficits in male repeated hypoxic rats closely resembling human extreme prematurity. Proceedings of the Australasian Neuroscience Society 34th Annual Meeting. Retrieved from http://www.ans.org.au/

Parr-Brownlie, L. C., Sizemore, R. J., Hughes, S. M., & Oorschot, D. E. (2014). Virus infects electron microscopy: Combining techniques for enhanced imaging of brain circuitry. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 32, (pp. 83). AWCBR. Retrieved from https://web.psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/proceedings.html

Oorschot, D. E., Alwakeel, A. J., Goddard, L., Hobbs, C. E., Gowing, E. K., Barnett, E. R., Kohe, S. E., Sizemore, R. J., & Cameron, S. H. (2014). Delayed post-treatment with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells is neurorestorative of striatal medium-spiny projection neurons and improves motor function after neonatal rat hypoxia-ischemia. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 44th Annual Meeting. SfN. Retrieved from http://www.sfn.org/annual-meeting/neuroscience-2014/abstracts

Reynolds, J. N. J., Barry, M. D., Connelly, W. M., Oorschot, D. E., & Abraham, W. C. (2013). Cellular mechanisms underlying modulation of interhemispheric inhibition by theta-burst stimulation. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 31, (pp. 26). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/Abstracts2013copy.html

Faull, R. L. M., Kim, E. H., Thu, D. C. V., Hogg, V., Synek, B., Oorschot, D. E., … Waldvogel, H. J. (2013). Region-specific cortical degeneration is a key component in understanding the neural basis of clinical heterogeneity in Huntington’s disease. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 31, (pp. 33). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/Abstracts2013copy.html

Oorschot, D. E., & Goddard, L. (2013). Myelin deficits, with no change in the absolute number of mature oligodendrocytes, in male repeated hypoxic rats closely resembles human extreme prematurity. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 31, (pp. 36). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/Abstracts2013copy.html

Cameron, S., Goddard, L., Sizemore, R., & Oorschot, D. (2012). Delayed post-treatment with mesenchymal stem cells affects progenitor cell proliferation in the subventricular zone after neonatal rat hypoxic/ischemic striatal injury. In B. Leitch & J. Shemmell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. 30, (pp. 65). AWCBR. Retrieved from http://psy.otago.ac.nz/awcbr/Abstracts/Abstracts2012.html

More publications...