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Neuropharmacology. 2010 Mar;58(3):613-23. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2009.11.012. Epub 2009 Dec 4.

A new ethyladenine antagonist of adenosine A(2A) receptors: behavioral and biochemical characterization as an antiparkinsonian drug.

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CNR Institute of Neuroscience - Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy.


Adenosine A(2A) receptor antagonists have emerged as an attractive non-dopaminergic target in clinical trials aimed at evaluating improvement in motor deficits in Parkinson's disease (PD). Moreover, preclinical studies suggest that A(2A) receptor antagonists may slow the course of the underlying neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the new adenosine A(2A) receptor antagonist 8-ethoxy-9-ethyladenine (ANR 94) in parkinsonian models of akinesia and tremor. In addition, induction of the immediate early gene zif-268, and neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of ANR 94 were evaluated. ANR 94 was effective in reversing parkinsonian tremor induced by the administration of tacrine. ANR 94 also counteracted akinesia (stepping test) and sensorimotor deficits (vibrissae-elicited forelimb-placing test), as well as potentiating l-dopa-induced contralateral turning behavior in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion model of PD. Potentiation of motor behavior in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats was not associated with increased induction of the immediate early gene zif-268 in the striatum, suggesting that ANR 94 does not induce long-term plastic changes in this structure. Finally, in a subchronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of PD, ANR 94 protected nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons from degeneration and counteracted neuroinflammatory processes by contrasting astroglial (glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP) and microglial (CD11b) activation. A(2A) receptor antagonism represents a uniquely realistic opportunity for improving PD treatment, since A(2A) receptor antagonists offer substantial symptomatic benefits and possibly disease-modifying activity. The characterization of ANR 94 may represent a further therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of PD with this new class of drugs.

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