The expression of cannabinoid type 1 receptor and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol synthesizing/degrading enzymes is altered in basal ganglia during the active phase of levodopa-induced dyskinesia
Estefania Rojo-Bustamante, Miguel Angel Abellanas, Pedro Clavero, Marie-Laure Thiolat, Qin Li, Maria Rosario Luquin, Erwan Bezard, Maria S Aymerich
Management of levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LID) is one of the main challenges in the treatment of Parkinson's disease patients. Mechanisms involved in the appearance of these involuntary movements are not well known but modifications in the activity of different neurotransmitter pathways seem to play an important role.
The objective of this study was to determine differences in the expression levels of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) elements that would support a role in LID. The basal ganglia nuclei, putamen, external segment of the globus pallidus (GPe), internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi), subthalamic nucleus (STN) and substantia nigra (SN) were dissected out from cryostat sections obtained from two groups of parkinsonian monkeys treated with levodopa to induce dyskinesias.
One group of dyskinetic animals was sacrificed under the effect of levodopa, during the active phase of LID, and the other group 24 h after the last levodopa dose (OFF levodopa). Biochemical analysis by real-time PCR for ECS elements was performed. CB1 receptor expression was upregulated in the putamen, GPe and STN during the active phase of dyskinesia and downregulated in the same nuclei and in the SN when dyskinetic animals were OFF levodopa.
Changes in the 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) synthesizing/degrading enzymes affecting the pallidal-subthalamic projections in dyskinetic animals OFF levodopa would suggest that 2-AG may play a role in LID. Anandamide (AEA) synthesizing/degrading enzymes were altered specifically in the GPe of untreated parkinsonian monkeys, suggesting that increased AEA levels may be a compensatory mechanism. These results indicate that the expression of the ECS elements is influenced by alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission.
On one hand, changes in CB1 receptor expression and in the 2-AG synthesizing/degrading enzymes suggest that they could be a therapeutic target for the active phase of LID. On the other hand, AEA metabolism could provide a non-dopaminergic target for symptomatic relief. However, further research is needed to unravel the mechanism of action of the ECS and how they could be modulated for a therapeutic purpose.
CITATION Neurobiol Dis. 2018 Oct;118:64-75. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2018.06.019. Epub 2018 Jun 21.