Memantine, amantadine, and L-deprenyl potentiate the action of L-dopa in monoamine-depleted rats

J Neural Transm Gen Sect. 1994;98(1):57-67. doi: 10.1007/BF01277594.


Some treatments used for Parkinson's disease attenuate locomotor depression in rats treated with reserpine and alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine. In the present study memantine (2.5, 5.0 mg/kg), amantadine (10, 20 mg/kg) (both uncompetitive NMDA antagonists), and L-deprenyl (1.0, 5.0 mg/kg; MAO-B inhibitor) were tested for possible synergistic interactions with the dopamine agonists: bromocriptine (2.5, 5.0 mg/kg) and L-dopa (50, 100 mg/kg, +benserazide, 100 mg/kg). At higher doses, memantine (10 mg/kg), amantadine (40 mg/kg), bromocriptine (5 and 10 mg/kg) and L-dopa (100, 200 mg/kg) but not L-deprenyl (up to 10 mg/kg) produced a pronounced increase in locomotor activity when given alone. The combination of memantine, amantadine and L-deprenyl with bromocriptine did not result in synergism of action and, at best, an additive effect was seen. On the other hand the combination of these agents with L-dopa produced a pronounced synergistic effect. Hence, the clinical observation that coadministration of L-dopa with either memantine or amantadine results in enhancement of their action is also reflected in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. Such a combination therapy should allow the use of lower doses of both drugs which may reduce the occurrence of side effects and may also be predicted to have additional benefits related to the neuroprotective properties of memantine, amantadine, and L-deprenyl.

MeSH terms

  • Amantadine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Bromocriptine / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / deficiency
  • Drug Synergism
  • Levodopa / agonists*
  • Male
  • Memantine / pharmacology*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • N-Methylaspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Selegiline / pharmacology*


  • Selegiline
  • Bromocriptine
  • Levodopa
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Amantadine
  • Dopamine
  • Memantine