A model of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned mice: relation to motor and cellular parameters of nigrostriatal function

Neurobiol Dis. 2004 Jun;16(1):110-23. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2004.01.007.


L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia is a major complication of L-DOPA pharmacotherapy in Parkinson's disease, and is thought to depend on abnormal cell signaling in the basal ganglia. In this study, we have addressed the possibility to model L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in the mouse at both the behavioral and the molecular level. C57BL/6 mice sustained unilateral injections of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) either in the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) or in the sensorimotor part of the striatum. Both types of lesion produced a similar degree of forelimb akinesia on the contralateral side of the body. The lowest dose of L-DOPA that could significantly relieve this akinetic deficit (i.e., 6 mg/kg) did not differ between MFB and intrastriatal lesions. The L-DOPA threshold dose for the induction of dyskinesia did however differ between the two lesion types. A daily dose of 6 mg/kg L-DOPA caused MFB lesioned mice to develop abnormal movements affecting orofacial, trunk, and forelimb muscles on the side contralateral to the lesion, whereas a daily dose of 18 mg/kg was required to produce comparable dyskinetic effects in the intrastriatally lesioned animals. The development of abnormal movements was accompanied by a striatal induction of DeltaFosB-like proteins and prodynorphin mRNA, that is, molecular markers that are associated with L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in both rats and nonhuman primates. We conclude that 6-OHDA lesioned mice exhibit behavioral and cellular features of akinesia and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia that are similar to those previously characterized in rats. The mouse model of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia will provide a useful tool to study the molecular determinants of this movement disorder in transgenic mice strains.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / genetics
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / metabolism*
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / physiopathology
  • Levodopa / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Mazindol / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Skills / drug effects
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Oxidopamine / toxicity
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism*
  • Substantia Nigra / physiopathology


  • Levodopa
  • Oxidopamine
  • Mazindol