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Professor Dorothy Oorschot

Dorothy OorschotProfessor 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 Associate Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie and Dr Rachel Sizemore, Professor Oorschot is mapping the local connectivity between specific GABAergic and dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain. A previous mapping project with Professor John Reynolds and Dr Rachel Sizemore teased out the circuitry of the striatal cholinergic interneurons to test various hypotheses about their function. 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.

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 Professor Oorschot’s research

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Publications

Seo, S., Sizemore, R. J., Reader, K. L., Smither, R. A., Wicky, H. E., Hughes, S. M., Bilkey, D. K., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Oorschot, D. E. (2021). A schizophrenia risk factor induces marked anatomical deficits at GABAergic-dopaminergic synapses in the rat ventral tegmental area: Essential evidence for new targeted therapies. Journal of Comparative Neurology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/cne.25225

Basham, H. K., Aghoghovwia, B. E., Papaioannou, P., Seo, S., & Oorschot, D. E. (2021). Delayed double treatment with adult-sourced adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells increases striatal medium-spiny neuronal number, decreases striatal microglial number, and has no subventricular proliferative effect, after acute neonatal hypoxia-ischemia in male rats. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22, 7862. doi: 10.3390/ijms22157862

Oorschot, D. E., Sizemore, R. J., & Amer, A. R. (2020). Treatment of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy with erythropoietin alone, and erythropoietin combined with hypothermia: History, current status, and future research. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(4), 1487. doi: 10.3390/ijms21041487

Aghoghovwia, B. E., Goddard, L., & Oorschot, D. E. (2019). Long-term fine motor capability on the staircase test correlates with the absolute number, but not the density, of DARPP-positive neurons in the caudate-putamen. Anatomical Record, 302(11), 2040-2048. doi: 10.1002/ar.24196

Pankhurst, M. W., Kelley, R. L., Sanders, R. L., Woodcock, S. R., Oorschot, D. E., & Batchelor, N. J. (2018, November). Why does anti-Müllerian hormone slow the depletion of eggs in the ovary? Verbal presentation at the Women’s Wellbeing Symposium, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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

Chapter in Book - Research

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. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374767-9.00003-2

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

Basham, H. K., Aghoghovwia, B. E., Papaioannou, P., Seo, S., & Oorschot, D. E. (2021). Delayed double treatment with adult-sourced adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells increases striatal medium-spiny neuronal number, decreases striatal microglial number, and has no subventricular proliferative effect, after acute neonatal hypoxia-ischemia in male rats. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22, 7862. doi: 10.3390/ijms22157862

Journal - Research Article

Seo, S., Sizemore, R. J., Reader, K. L., Smither, R. A., Wicky, H. E., Hughes, S. M., Bilkey, D. K., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Oorschot, D. E. (2021). A schizophrenia risk factor induces marked anatomical deficits at GABAergic-dopaminergic synapses in the rat ventral tegmental area: Essential evidence for new targeted therapies. Journal of Comparative Neurology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/cne.25225

Journal - Research Article

Aghoghovwia, B. E., Goddard, L., & Oorschot, D. E. (2019). Long-term fine motor capability on the staircase test correlates with the absolute number, but not the density, of DARPP-positive neurons in the caudate-putamen. Anatomical Record, 302(11), 2040-2048. doi: 10.1002/ar.24196

Journal - Research Article

Amer, A. R., & Oorschot, D. E. (2018). Xenon combined with hypothermia in perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: A noble gas, a noble mission. Pediatric Neurology, 84, 5-10. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2018.02.009

Journal - Research Article

Pankhurst, M. W., Kelley, R. L., Sanders, R. L., Woodcock, S. R., Oorschot, D. E., & Batchelor, N. J. (2018). Anti-Müllerian hormone overexpression restricts preantral ovarian follicle survival. Journal of Endocrinology, 237(2), 153-163. doi: 10.1530/joe-18-0005

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

Journal - Research Article

Sizemore, R. J., Zhang, R., Lin, N., Goddard, L., Wastney, T., 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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Oorschot, D. E., Voss, L., Covey, M. V., 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), 11863-11877. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.0342-12.2013

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199811000-00017

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

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.

Journal - Research Article

Oorschot, D. E., Sizemore, R. J., & Amer, A. R. (2020). Treatment of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy with erythropoietin alone, and erythropoietin combined with hypothermia: History, current status, and future research. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(4), 1487. doi: 10.3390/ijms21041487

Journal - Research Other

Oorschot, D. E. (2000). Cerebral palsy and experimental hypoxia-induced perinatal brain injury: Is magnesium protective? Magnesium Research, 13.

Major Reviews - prior to 2003

Oorschot, D. E., Seo, S., Bilkey, D. K., Hughes, S. M., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Sizemore, R. J. (2018). Synaptic triad arrangement within an aversive pathway in the normal uninjured brain. In K. Hillman (Ed.), Proceedings of the 36th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 29). AWCBR. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Seo, S., Sizemore, R. J., Bilkey, D. K., Hughes, S. M., Parr-Brownlie, L. C., & Oorschot, D. E. (2018). Changes in midbrain dopamine circuitry in the maternal immune activation rat model of schizophrenia. In K. Hillman (Ed.), Proceedings of the 36th International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 30). AWCBR. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/awcbr

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Aghoghovwia, B. E., & Oorschot, D. E. (2017). Delayed post-treatment with adult-sourced adipose-derived MSCs is neurorestorative of striatal DARPP-32 neurons after neonatal rat HI. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 47th Annual Meeting. 138.05/Z24. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Okpe, O., Goddard, L., & Oorschot, D. E. (2017). Treatment of brain injury due to extreme prematurity: Effect of melatonin on ADHD-like hyperactivity and midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 47th Annual Meeting. 303.23/X15. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Oorschot, D. E., Narayanan, S., & Goddard, L. (2017). Post-treatment with melatonin prevents cerebral myelin and memory deficits in male rats exposed to repeated hypoxia during the equivalent of extreme prematurity. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 47th Annual Meeting. 395.04/DD4. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Seo, S., Kohe, S. E., Gowing, E., Zheng, Y., Kokay, I., Grattan, D. R., Liu, P., & Oorschot, D. E. (2017). Effect of extreme prematurity on brain monoamine metabolism. Proceedings of the Society for Neuroscience 47th Annual Meeting. 035.06/C44. SfN. Retrieved from https://www.sfn.org/

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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

Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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