The effects of L-dopa on the activity of methionine adenosyltransferase: relevance to L-dopa therapy and tolerance

Neurochem Res. 1993 Mar;18(3):325-30. doi: 10.1007/BF00969090.


L-dopa, the major treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD), depletes S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM). Since SAM causes PD-like symptoms in rodents, the decreased efficacy of chronic L-dopa administered to PD patients may result from a rebound increase in SAM via methionine adenosyl transferase (MAT), which produces SAM from methionine and ATP. This was tested by administering intraperitoneally saline, or L-dopa to mice and assaying for brain MAT activity. As compared to controls, L-dopa (100 mg/kg) treatments of 1 and 2 times per day for 4 days did not significantly increase MAT activity. However, treatments of 3 times per day for 4 and 8 days did significantly increase the activity of MAT by 21.38% and 28.37%, respectively. These results show that short interval, chronic L-dopa treatments significantly increases MAT activity, which increases the production of SAM. SAM may physiologically antagonize the effects of L-dopa and biochemically decrease the concentrations of L-dopa and dopamine. Thus, an increase in MAT may be related to the decreased efficacy of chronic L-dopa therapy in PD.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Drug Interactions
  • Levodopa / administration & dosage
  • Levodopa / pharmacology*
  • Levodopa / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Methionine / metabolism
  • Methionine Adenosyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / enzymology
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / metabolism


  • Levodopa
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Methionine
  • Methionine Adenosyltransferase