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Neurochem Int. 2018 Dec;121:125-139. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2018.10.004. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Interactions of the tricyclic antidepressant drug amitriptyline with L-DOPA in the striatum and substantia nigra of unilaterally 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Relevance to motor dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.

Author information

1
Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Department of Neuro-Psychopharmacology, 31-343, Kraków, Smętna Street 12, Poland.
2
Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Department of Neuro-Psychopharmacology, 31-343, Kraków, Smętna Street 12, Poland. Electronic address: lorenc@if-pan.krakow.pl.

Abstract

Antidepressant drugs are recommended for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD)-associated depression but their role in the modulation of L-DOPA-induced behavioral and neurochemical markers is poorly explored. The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline and L-DOPA, administered chronically alone or in combination, on rotational behavior, monoamine levels and binding of radioligands to their transporters in the dopaminergic brain structures of unilaterally 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Binding of [3H]nisoxetine to noradrenaline transporter (NET), [3H]GBR 12,935 to dopamine transporter (DAT) and [3H]citalopram to serotonin transporter (SERT) were analyzed by autoradiography. Amitriptyline administered alone did not induce rotational behavior but in combination with L-DOPA increased the number of contralateral rotations much more strongly than L-DOPA alone. The combined treatment also significantly increased the tissue dopamine (DA) content in the ipsilateral striatum and substantia nigra (SN) vs. L-DOPA alone. 6-OHDA-mediated lesion of nigrostriatal DA neurons drastically reduced DAT and NET bindings in the ipsilateral striatum. In the ipsilateral SN, DAT binding decreased while NET binding rose. SERT binding increased significantly mainly in the SN. Amitriptyline administered alone or jointly with L-DOPA had no effect on DAT binding on the lesioned side, significantly decreased SERT binding in the striatum and SN while NET binding only in the SN. Since in the DA-denervated striatum, SERT is mainly responsible for reuptake of L-DOPA-derived DA while in the SN, SERT and NET are involved, the inhibition of these transporters by antidepressant drugs may improve dopaminergic transmission and consequently motor behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Amitriptyline; Autoradiography of monoamine transporters; Contralateral rotations; L-DOPA; Monoamine levels; Unilateral 6-OHDA lesion

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