Effects of L-DOPA-therapy on dopamine D2 receptor mRNA expression in the striatum of MPTP-intoxicated parkinsonian monkeys
Herrero MT, Augood SJ, Asensi H, Hirsch EC, Agid Y, Obeso JA, Emson PC.
The cellular expression of dopamine D2 receptor mRNA was examined in striatal (caudate nucleus and putamen) neurones of 9 Macaca fascicularis monkeys rendered parkinsonian by systemic injection of MPTP. Messenger RNA abundance was determined by quantitative in situ hybridization using human-specific 35S-labelled oligonucleotides.
Control monkeys were untreated and received neither MPTP nor L-DOPA while the rest were rendered parkinsonian and received chronic levodopa therapy to induce dyskinesia. In the control brains a strong dopamine D2 receptor hybridization signal was detected overlying medium-sized and some large neurons in both the caudate nucleus and putamen. Neurons from the lateral and medial regions of the caudate nucleus, and from the dorsal and ventral regions of the putamen were analysed separately. A significant increase in the cellular abundance of dopamine D2 receptor mRNA was seen in the striatum of MPTP-treated monkeys; this increase being restricted to the population of medium-sized striatal cells. No such increase in dopamine D2 receptor mRNA was observed in (dyskinetic) L-DOPA-treated monkeys suggesting that levodopa-therapy normalises D2 receptor expression in post-synaptic striatal cells.
The cellular abundance of dopamine D2 receptor mRNA expressed by large striatal neurons (putative cholinergic cells) was unaffected by either MPTP treatment or levodopa therapy. The implications of these findings for the development of levodopa-induced dyskinesias is discussed.
CITATION Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1996 Nov;42(1):149-55