The selective 5-HT1A receptor agonist, NLX-112, exerts anti-dyskinetic and anti-parkinsonian-like effects in MPTP-treated marmosets

Neuropharmacology. 2020 May 1:167:107997. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2020.107997. Epub 2020 Feb 10.


l-DOPA is the gold-standard pharmacotherapy for treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD) but can lead to the appearance of troubling dyskinesia which are attributable to 'false neurotransmitter' release of dopamine by serotonergic neurons. Reducing the activity of these neurons diminishes l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID), but there are currently no clinically approved selective, high efficacy 5-HT1A receptor agonists. Here we describe the effects of NLX-112, a highly selective and efficacious 5-HT1A receptor agonist, on LID in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated marmosets, a non-human primate model of PD. NLX-112 exhibited modest plasma half-life (~2h) and marked plasma protein binding (96%). When administered to parkinsonian marmosets with l-DOPA (7 mg/kg p.o.), NLX-112 (0.025, 0.1 and 0.4 mg/kg p.o.) reduced LID scores at early time-points after administration, whilst only minimally interfering with the l-DOPA-induced reversal of motor disability. In contrast, the prototypical 5-HT1A receptor agonist, (+)8-OH-DPAT (0.6 and 2 mg/kg p. o.), reduced LID but also abolished l-DOPA's anti-disability activity. Administered by itself, NLX-112 (0.1, 0.2 mg/kg p.o.) produced very little dyskinesia or locomotor activity, but reduced motor disability scores by about half the extent elicited by l-DOPA, suggesting that it may have motor facilitation effects of its own. Both NLX-112 and (+)8-OH-DPAT induced unusual and dose-limiting behaviors in marmoset that resembled 'serotonin behavioral syndrome' observed previously in rat. Overall, the present study showed that NLX-112 has anti-LID activity at the doses tested as well as reducing motor disability. The data suggest that additional investigation of NLX-112 is desirable to explore its potential as a treatment for PD and PD-LID.

Keywords: Befiradol; MPTP; Marmosets; NLX-112; Parkinson's disease; Serotonin 5-HT(1A) receptors; l-DOPA-Induced dyskinesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiparkinson Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiparkinson Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Callithrix
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / drug therapy*
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / metabolism
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Levodopa / toxicity
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • MPTP Poisoning / drug therapy*
  • MPTP Poisoning / metabolism
  • MPTP Poisoning / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use*
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A / metabolism
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Piperidines
  • Pyridines
  • Serotonin 5-HT1 Receptor Agonists
  • Receptor, Serotonin, 5-HT1A
  • Levodopa
  • befiradol