Background and purpose: Symptoms of Parkinson's disease are commonly managed using selective dopamine D2/3 receptor agonists, including ropinirole. While D2/3 agonists are useful in early-stage Parkinson's disease, they tend to lose efficacy in later disease stages and do not appear to modify disease progression. We have recently developed a novel 'multifunctional' compound, D-512: a high-affinity D2/3 receptor agonist with antioxidant and other neuroprotective properties that may limit Parkinson's disease progression. This study sought to compare the anti-Parkinsonian properties of the clinically used compound, ropinirole, with those of the novel compound, D-512.
Experimental approach: A rat model of Parkinson's disease was created by unilaterally infusing 6-hydroxydopamine, a dopamine neurotoxin, into the medial forebrain bundle. D-512 was compared with ropinirole for ability to stimulate spontaneous motor activity and reverse Parkinsonian akinesia. These beneficial effects were compared against each drug's liability to provoke dyskinesia, a common motor side effect.
Key results: Both compounds increased spontaneous movement, but D-512 showed a longer duration of action. Only D-512 was able to significantly reverse forelimb akinesia. Drug-induced dyskinesia was similar for equivalent doses.
Conclusions and implications: Compared with ropinirole, D-512 showed greater peak-dose efficacy and a longer duration of action, despite a similar side-effect profile. Our results add to earlier data showing that D-512 is superior to available D2/3 agonists and could merit clinical investigation.
© 2017 The British Pharmacological Society.