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Neurobiol Dis. 2009 Oct;36(1):213-22. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2009.07.017. Epub 2009 Jul 25.

Nur77 mRNA levels and L-Dopa-induced dyskinesias in MPTP monkeys treated with docosahexaenoic acid.

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Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


We have previously shown that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) significantly reduced L-Dopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) monkeys (Samadi et al., Ann. Neurol. 59:282-288, 2006). In the present study, we measured for the first time mRNA levels of Nur77, an orphan nuclear receptor that participates to adaptive and/or aberrant dopamine-related behaviors, and retinoid X receptor gamma1 (RXRgamma1), a putative brain receptor for DHA and transcriptional partner of Nur77, in MPTP monkeys treated with L-Dopa and DHA. The RXRgamma1 mRNA is strongly expressed in monkey caudate nucleus and putamen, but no change in levels of RXRgamma1 was observed following MPTP and L-Dopa treatments. On the other hand, denervation reduced Nur77 mRNA levels, whereas chronic L-Dopa treatment strongly induced Nur77 transcripts. These modulations are taking place in substance P positive cells and are associated with both caudate-putamen matrix and striosome compartments. Interestingly, combination of L-Dopa with DHA further increases Nur77 mRNA levels in the anterior caudate-putamen, and mainly in striosomes. This is accompanied by a significant inverse correlation between Nur77 mRNA levels and dyskinetic scores. Taken together, our results show that Nur77 expression is modulated following dopamine denervation and chronic L-Dopa therapy in a non-human primate model of Parkinson's disease, and suggest that strong modulation of Nur77 expression might be linked to a reduced risk to develop LIDs.

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