Involvement of the serotonin system in L-dopa-induced dyskinesias

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2008;14 Suppl 2:S154-8. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2008.04.021. Epub 2008 Jun 24.


The ability of L-dopa to relieve the motor impairments in Parkinson's disease patients declines over time, and side-effects, such as dyskinesias, appear--limiting the use of the drug in the advanced stage of the disease. Serotonergic neurons are able to convert L-dopa to dopamine and to store this neurotransmitter in synaptic vesicles. This peculiarity might be very important in the advanced disease, when most of the dopaminergic neurons have degenerated. Indeed, an increasing body of evidence points to dopamine released as a false neurotransmitter from the serotonin terminals as the main pre-synaptic determinant of L-dopa-induced dyskinesias in animal models of Parkinson's disease. These findings make the serotonin system an intriguing target for anti-dyskinetic therapies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dopamine Agents / adverse effects*
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / metabolism
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / adverse effects*
  • Serotonin / metabolism*


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Serotonin
  • Levodopa