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Brain Res Bull. 2009 Mar 16;78(4-5):248-53. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.11.007. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

Genetic, temporal and diurnal influences on L-dopa-induced dyskinesia in the 6-OHDA model.

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  • 1INSERM/UEVE UMR861-ISTEM, AFM, 5, rue Henri Desbruères, 91030 Evry, France.


Current treatments for Parkinson's disease rely on a dopamine replacement strategy and are reasonably effective, particularly in the early stages of the disease. However, chronic dopaminergic therapy is limited by the development of a range of side effects, including the onset of abnormal movements ('dyskinesia'). The neural mechanisms that underlie dyskinesia are far from clear but they have been associated with pulsatile stimulation of dopamine receptors, downstream changes in proteins and genes, and abnormalities in non-dopamine transmitter systems. However, there has been no pathophysiological explanation for the worsening motor symptoms in the afternoon and evening reported by Parkinsonian patients in long-term L-dopa therapy, and no direct relationship has been found with the pharmacokinetics of the drug. Moreover, there continues to be a debate about whether the development of dyskinesias in patients is dependent upon the duration of L-dopa treatment or on the degree of denervation/advanced stage of the disease, both factors that are difficult to resolve experimentally in the human disease. The objective of this study was to characterise, in an animal model, factors that predispose some individuals to develop dyskinesia after a prolonged treatment with L-dopa, whereas others continue to exhibit symptom alleviation without the side effects. We report that none of the parameters studied--genetic variation within and between strains, delay of treatment onset after lesion, or time of day of the drug treatment--were found to influence directly the formation of dyskinesias after L-dopa treatment. We conclude that a complex combination of individual factors are likely to interact to regulate the onset and development of abnormal movements in some animals but not others.

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