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Synapse. 2003 Sep 15;49(4):246-60.

Dual effects of intermittent or continuous L-DOPA administration on gene expression in the globus pallidus and subthalamic nucleus of adult rats with a unilateral 6-OHDA lesion.

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1
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA.

Abstract

Intermittent oral doses of levodopa (L-DOPA) are routinely used to treat Parkinson's disease, but with prolonged use can result in adverse motor complications, such as dyskinesia. Continuous administration of L-DOPA achieves therapeutic efficacy without producing this effect, yet the molecular mechanisms are unclear. This study examined, by in situ hybridization histochemistry, the effects of continuous or intermittent L-DOPA administration on gene expression in the globus pallidus and subthalamic nucleus of adult rats with a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion of the nigrostriatal pathway. Results were compared to 6-OHDA-treated rats receiving vehicle. Our results provide original evidence that continuous L-DOPA normalizes the 6-OHDA-lesion-induced increase in mRNA levels encoding for the 67 kDa isoform of glutamate decarboxylase in neurons of the globus pallidus and cytochrome oxidase subunit I mRNA levels in the subthalamic nucleus. The extent of normalization did not differ between the continuous and intermittent groups. In addition, intermittent L-DOPA induced an increase in the mRNA levels encoding for the 65 kDa isoform of glutamate decarboxylase in globus pallidus neurons ipsilateral to the lesion and a bilateral increase in c-fos mRNA expression in the subthalamic nucleus. These results suggest that continuous L-DOPA tends to normalize the 6-OHDA-lesion-induced alterations in cell signaling in the pallido-subthalamic loop. On the other hand, we propose that chronic intermittent L-DOPA exerts a dual effect by normalizing cell signaling in a subpopulation of neurons in the globus pallidus and subthalamic nucleus while inducing abnormal signaling in another subpopulation.

PMID:
12827644
DOI:
10.1002/syn.10234
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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