TIME DEPENDENT ALTERATIONS IN CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DOPAMINE RECEPTORS INDUCED BY DOPAMINE AGONIST TREATMENT
Levodopa, the precursor of dopamine, is currently the drug of choice in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Recently, two direct dopamine agonists, bromocriptine and pergolide, have been tested for the treatment of Parkinson's disease because of reduced side effects compared to levodopa. Few studies have evaluated the effects of long-term treatment of dopamine agonists on dopamine receptor regulation in the central nervous system. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine whether chronic dopamine agonist treatment produces a down-regulation of striatal dopamine receptor function and to compare the results of the two classes of dopaminergic drugs. Levodopa with carbidopa, a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor, was administered orally to rats whereas bromocriptine and pergolide were injected intraperitoneally once daily. Several neurochemical parameters were examined from 1 to 28 days. Levodopa minimally decreased striatal D-1 receptor activity but increased the number of striatal D-2 binding sites. Levodopa increased the V(,max) of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in all brain regions tested. Protein blot analysis of striatal TH indicated a significant increase in the amount of TH present. Dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) activity was markedly decreased in all brain regions studied and mixing experiments of control and drug-treated cortices did not show the presence of an increased level of endogenous inhibitors. Bromocriptine treatment decreased the number of D-2 binding sites. Striatal TH activity was decreased and protein blot analysis indicated no change in TH quantity. The specificity of bromocriptine for striatal TH suggested that bromocriptine preferentially interacts with dopamine autoreceptors. Combination levodopa-bromocriptine was administered for 12 days. There was a decrease in both D-1 receptor activity and D-2 binding sites, and a decrease in brain HVA levels suggesting a postsynaptic receptor action. Pergolide produced identical results to the combination levodopa-bromocriptine studies. In conclusion, combination levodopa-bromocriptine and pergolide treatments exhibited the expected down-regulation of dopamine receptor activity. In contrast, levodopa appeared to up-regulate dopamine receptor activity. Thus, these data may help to explain, on a biochemical basis, the decrease in the levodopa-induced side effects noted with combination levodopa-bromocriptine or pergolide therapies in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
WILNER, KEITH DAVID, "TIME DEPENDENT ALTERATIONS IN CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DOPAMINE RECEPTORS INDUCED BY DOPAMINE AGONIST TREATMENT" (1984). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8428452.