Striatal Akt/GSK3 signaling pathway in the development of L-Dopa-induced dyskinesias in MPTP monkeys

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr 16;34(3):446-54. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2009.12.011. Epub 2009 Dec 16.


L-Dopa treatment, the gold standard therapy for Parkinson's disease, is hampered by motor complications such as dyskinesias. Recently, impairment of striatal Akt/GSK3 signaling was proposed to play a role in the mechanisms implicated in development of L-Dopa-induced dyskinesias in a rodent model of Parkinson's disease. The present experiment investigated in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) monkeys, the effects on Akt/GSK3 of chronic L-Dopa treatment inducing dyskinesias compared to L-Dopa with CI-1041 (NMDA receptor antagonist) or a low dose of cabergoline (dopamine D2 receptor agonist) preventing dyskinesias. The extensive dopamine denervation induced by MPTP was associated with a decrease by about half of phosphorylated Akt(Ser473) levels in posterior caudate nucleus, anterior and posterior putamen; smaller changes were observed for phosphorylated Akt(Thr308) levels that did not reach statistical significance. Dopamine depletion reduced phosphorylated GSK3beta(Ser9) levels, mainly in posterior putamen whereas pGSK3beta(Tyr216) and pGSK3alpha(Ser21) were unchanged. In posterior caudate nucleus, anterior and posterior putamen of dyskinetic L-Dopa-treated MPTP monkeys, pAkt(Ser473) and pGSK3beta(Ser9) were elevated whereas L-Dopa+cabergoline treated MPTP monkeys without dyskinesias had lower values in posterior striatum as vehicle-treated MPTP monkeys. In non-dyskinetic MPTP monkeys treated with L-Dopa+CI-1041, putamen pAkt(Ser473) and pGSK3beta(Ser9) levels remained elevated as in dyskinetic monkeys while in posterior caudate nucleus, these levels were low as vehicle-treated and lower than L-Dopa treated MPTP monkeys. Extent of phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3beta in putamen correlated positively with dyskinesias scores of MPTP monkeys; these correlations were higher with dopaminergic drugs (L-Dopa, cabergoline) suggesting implication of additional mechanisms and/or signaling molecules in the NMDA antagonist antidyskinetic effect. In conclusion, our results showed that in MPTP monkeys, loss of striatal dopamine decreased Akt/GSK3 signaling and that increased phosphorylation of Akt and GSK3beta was associated with L-Dopa-induced dyskinesias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiparkinson Agents / adverse effects
  • Benzoxazoles / therapeutic use
  • Cabergoline
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects*
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Interactions
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / pathology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Ergolines / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 / metabolism*
  • Levodopa / adverse effects
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt / metabolism*
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / drug therapy
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use
  • Serine / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Benzoxazoles
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Ergolines
  • Piperidines
  • Serine
  • Levodopa
  • besonprodil
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Cabergoline