Treatment of Parkinson's disease: what's in the non-dopaminergic pipeline?
ABSTRACT: Dopamine depletion resulting from degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons is the primary neurochemical basis of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). While dopaminergic replacement strategies are effective in ameliorating these symptoms early in the disease process, more advanced stages of PD are associated with the development of treatment-related motor complications and dopamine-resistant symptoms. Other neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems are expressed in the basal ganglia and contribute to the extrapyramidal refinement of motor function. Furthermore, neuropathological studies suggest that they are also affected by the neurodegenerative process. These non-dopaminergic systems provide potential targets for treatment of motor fluctuations, levodopa-induced dyskinesias, and difficulty with gait and balance. This review summarizes recent advances in the clinical development of novel pharmacological approaches for treatment of PD motor symptoms. Although the non-dopaminergic pipeline has been slow to yield new drugs, further development will likely result in improved treatments for PD symptoms that are induced by or resistant to dopamine replacement.
Project description:Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a long-term neurodegenerative brain disorder that mainly affects the motor system. The causes are still unknown, and even though currently there is no cure, several therapeutic options are available to manage its symptoms. The development of novel antiparkinsonian agents and an understanding of their proper and optimal use are, indeed, highly demanding. For the last decades, L-3,4-DihydrOxyPhenylAlanine or levodopa (L-DOPA) has been the gold-standard therapy for the symptomatic treatment of motor dysfunctions associated to PD. However, the development of dyskinesias and motor fluctuations (wearing-off and on-off phenomena) associated with long-term L-DOPA replacement therapy have limited its antiparkinsonian efficacy. The investigation for non-dopaminergic therapies has been largely explored as an attempt to counteract the motor side effects associated with dopamine replacement therapy. Being one of the largest cell membrane protein families, G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) have become a relevant target for drug discovery focused on a wide range of therapeutic areas, including Central Nervous System (CNS) diseases. The modulation of specific GPCRs potentially implicated in PD, excluding dopamine receptors, may provide promising non-dopaminergic therapeutic alternatives for symptomatic treatment of PD. In this review, we focused on the impact of specific GPCR subclasses, including dopamine receptors, adenosine receptors, muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, metabotropic glutamate receptors, and 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors, on the pathophysiology of PD and the importance of structure- and ligand-based in silico approaches for the development of small molecules to target these receptors.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Dopaminergic therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD) can be associated with both motoric (e.g., dyskinesias) and neuropsychiatric adverse effects. Examples of the latter include Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome (DDS) and impulse control disorder (ICD), which are separate but related behavioral/psychiatric complications of treatment in PD. Dysregulation of volition characterizes both dyskinesias and DDS/ICD; thus, we analyzed potential disease-related correlates in a large PD cohort. METHODS:We analyzed cross-sectional data from 654 participants collected through the NINDS Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program. DDS/ICD symptoms and dyskinesias were assessed using the Movement Disorders Society (revised) Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale. Potential associated variables were selected from PD-validated or PD-specific scales of neuropsychiatric or motoric status. Multivariable models with DDS/ICD or dyskinesia presence outcomes were produced with backward stepwise regression to identify factors independently associated with DDS/ICD and/or dyskinesias. RESULTS:Fifty-three (8.1%) participants endorsed DDS and/or ICD symptoms and 150 (22.9%) were dyskinetic. In multivariable analysis, psychosis was independently associated with both dyskinesias (p = 0.006) and DDS/ICD (p < 0.001). Unpredictable motor fluctuations (p = 0.026) and depression (p = 0.023) were also associated with DDS/ICD; female sex (p = 0.025), low tremor score (p = 0.001) and high akinesia-rigidity score (p < 0.001) were associated with dyskinesias. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings suggest that psychosis may be an important marker of impaired volition across motor and cognitive domains. Unpredictable motor fluctuations, psychosis, and depression may together comprise a phenotypic profile of patients at increased risk for DDS/ICD. Similarly, dyskinetic PD patients should be closely monitored for psychotic symptoms and treated appropriately.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurological disorder characterized by the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, with consequent reduction in striatal dopamine levels leading to characteristic motor symptoms. The most effective treatment for this disease continues to be the dopamine replacement therapy with levodopa together with an inhibitor of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC). The efficacy of this therapy, however, decreases with time and most patients develop fluctuating responses and dyskinesias. The last decade showed that the use of catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors as adjuvants to the levodopa/AADC inhibitor therapy, significantly improves the clinical benefits of this therapy. The purpose of this article is to review the current knowledge on the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and the role of COMT inhibitors in PD as a new therapeutic approach to PD involving conversion of levodopa to dopamine at the target region in the brain and facilitation of the continuous action of this amine at the receptor sites. A historical overview of the discovery and development of COMT inhibitors is presented with a special emphasis on nebicapone, presently under clinical development, as well as entacapone and tolcapone, which are already approved as adjuncts in the therapy of PD. This article reviews human pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of these drugs as well as their clinical efficacy and safety.
Project description:Although Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized primarily by loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, there is a concomitant loss of norepinephrine (NE) neurons in the locus coeruleus. Dopaminergic lesions induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) are commonly used to model PD, and although MPTP effectively mimics the dopaminergic neuropathology of PD in mice, it fails to produce PD-like motor deficits. We hypothesized that MPTP is unable to recapitulate the motor abnormalities of PD either because the behavioral paradigms used to measure coordinated behavior in mice are not sensitive enough or because MPTP in the absence of NE loss is insufficient to impair motor control. We tested both possibilities by developing a battery of coordinated movement tests and examining motor deficits in dopamine beta-hydroxylase knockout (Dbh-/-) mice that lack NE altogether. We detected no motor abnormalities in MPTP-treated control mice, despite an 80% loss of striatal dopamine (DA) terminals. Dbh-/- mice, on the other hand, were impaired in most tests and also displayed spontaneous dyskinesias, despite their normal striatal DA content. A subset of these impairments was recapitulated in control mice with 80% NE lesions and reversed in Dbh-/- mice, either by restoration of NE or treatment with a DA agonist. MPTP did not exacerbate baseline motor deficits in Dbh-/- mice. Finally, striatal levels of phospho-ERK-1/2 and DeltaFosB/FosB, proteins which are associated with PD and dyskinesias, were elevated in Dbh-/- mice. These results suggest that loss of locus coeruleus neurons contributes to motor dysfunction in PD.
Project description:Increasingly memory deficits are recognized in Parkinson's disease (PD). In PD, the dopamine-producing cells of the substantia nigra (SN) are significantly degenerated whereas those in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) are relatively spared. Dopamine-replacement medication improves cognitive processes that implicate the SN-innervated dorsal striatum but is thought to impair those that depend upon the VTA-supplied ventral striatum, limbic and prefrontal cortices. Our aim was to examine memory encoding and retrieval in PD and how they are affected by dopamine replacement. Twenty-nine PD patients performed the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) and a non-verbal analogue, the Aggie Figures Learning Test (AFLT), both on and off dopaminergic medications. Twenty-seven, age-matched controls also performed these memory tests twice and their data were analyzed to correspond to the ON-OFF order of the PD patients to whom they were matched. We contrasted measures that emphasized with those that accentuated retrieval and investigated the effect of PD and dopamine-replacement on these processes separately. For PD patients relative to controls, encoding performance was normal in the off state and was impaired on dopaminergic medication. Retrieval was impaired off medication and improved by dopamine repletion. This pattern of findings suggests that VTA-innervated brain regions such as ventral striatum, limbic and prefrontal cortices are implicated in encoding, whereas the SN-supplied dorsal striatum mediates retrieval. Understanding this pattern of spared functions and deficits in PD, and the effect of dopamine replacement on these distinct memory processes, should prompt closer scrutiny of patients' cognitive complaints to inform titration of dopamine replacement dosages along with motor symptoms.
Project description:Levodopa-induced dyskinesias are a common side effect of dopaminergic therapy in PD, but their neural correlates remain poorly understood.This study examines whether dyskinesias are associated with abnormal dopaminergic modulation of resting-state cortico-striatal connectivity.Twelve PD patients with peak-of-dose dyskinesias and 12 patients without dyskinesias were withdrawn from dopaminergic medication. All patients received a single dose of fast-acting soluble levodopa and then underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging before any dyskinesias emerged. Levodopa-induced modulation of cortico-striatal resting-state connectivity was assessed between the putamen and the following 3 cortical regions of interest: supplementary motor area, primary sensorimotor cortex, and right inferior frontal gyrus. These functional connectivity measures were entered into a linear support vector classifier to predict whether an individual patient would develop dyskinesias after levodopa intake. Linear regression analysis was applied to test which connectivity measures would predict dyskinesia severity.Dopaminergic modulation of resting-state connectivity between the putamen and primary sensorimotor cortex in the most affected hemisphere predicted whether patients would develop dyskinesias with a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 91% (P < .0001). Modulation of resting-state connectivity between the supplementary motor area and putamen predicted interindividual differences in dyskinesia severity (R(2) = 0.627, P = .004). Resting-state connectivity between the right inferior frontal gyrus and putamen neither predicted dyskinesia status nor dyskinesia severity.The results corroborate the notion that altered dopaminergic modulation of cortico-striatal connectivity plays a key role in the pathophysiology of dyskinesias in PD.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease that is clinically manifested by a triad of cardinal motor symptoms - rigidity, bradykinesia and tremor - due to loss of dopaminergic neurons. The motor symptoms of PD become progressively worse as the disease advances. PD is also a heterogeneous disease since rigidity and bradykinesia are the major complaints in some patients whereas tremor is predominant in others. In recent years, many studies have investigated the progression of the hallmark symptoms over time, and the cardinal motor symptoms have different rates of progression, with the disease usually progressing faster in patients with rigidity and bradykinesia than in those with predominant tremor. The current treatment regime of dopamine-replacement therapy improves motor symptoms and alleviates disability. Increasing the dosage of dopaminergic medication is commonly used to combat the worsening symptoms. However, the drug-induced involuntary body movements and motor complications can significantly contribute to overall disability. Further, none of the currently-available therapies can slow or halt the disease progression. Significant research efforts have been directed towards developing neuroprotective or disease-modifying agents that are intended to slow the progression. In this article, the most recent clinical studies investigating disease progression and current progress on the development of disease-modifying drug trials are reviewed.
Project description:The reduced movement repertoire of Parkinson's disease (PD) is mainly due to degeneration of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons. Restoration of dopamine transmission by levodopa (L-DOPA) relieves motor symptoms of PD but often causes disabling dyskinesias. Subchronic L-DOPA increases levels of adaptor protein p11 (S100A10) in dopaminoceptive neurons of the striatum. Using experimental mouse models of Parkinsonism, we report here that global p11 knockout (KO) mice develop fewer jaw tremors in response to tacrine. Following L-DOPA, global p11KO mice show reduced therapeutic responses on rotational motor sensitization, but also develop less dyskinetic side effects. Studies using conditional p11KO mice reveal that distinct cell populations mediate these therapeutic and side effects. Selective deletion of p11 in cholinergic acetyltransferase (ChAT) neurons reduces tacrine-induced tremor. Mice lacking p11 in dopamine D2R-containing neurons have a reduced response to L-DOPA on the therapeutic parameters, but develop dyskinetic side effects. In contrast, mice lacking p11 in dopamine D1R-containing neurons exhibit tremor and rotational responses toward L-DOPA, but develop less dyskinesia. Moreover, coadministration of rapamycin with L-DOPA counteracts L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in wild-type mice, but not in mice lacking p11 in D1R-containing neurons. 6-OHDA lesioning causes an increase of evoked striatal glutamate release in wild type, but not in global p11KO mice, indicating that altered glutamate neurotransmission could contribute to the reduced L-DOPA responsivity. These data demonstrate that p11 located in ChAT or D2R-containing neurons is involved in regulating therapeutic actions in experimental PD, whereas p11 in D1R-containing neurons underlies the development of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias.
Project description:Dopamine (DA) profoundly stimulates motor function as demonstrated by the hypokinetic motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) and by the hyperkinetic motor side effects during dopaminergic treatment of PD. Dopamine (DA) receptor-bypassing, optogenetics- and chemogenetics-induced spike firing of striatal DA D1 receptor (D1R)-expressing, direct pathway medium spiny neurons (dSPNs or dMSNs) promotes movements. However, the endogenous D1R-mediated effects, let alone those of DA replacement, on dSPN spike activity in freely-moving animals is not established. Here we show that using transcription factor Pitx3 null mutant (Pitx3Null) mice as a model for severe and consistent DA denervation in the dorsal striatum in Parkinson's disease, antidromically identified striatonigral neurons (D1R-expressing dSPNs) had a lower baseline spike firing rate than that in DA-intact normal mice, and these neurons increased their spike firing more strongly in Pitx3Null mice than in WT mice in response to injection of L-dopa or the D1R agonist, SKF81297; the increase in spike firing temporally coincided with the motor-stimulating effects of L-dopa and SKF81297. Taken together, these results provide the first evidence from freely moving animals that in parkinsonian striatum, identified behavior-promoting dSPNs become hyperactive upon the administration of L-dopa or a D1 agonist, likely contributing to the profound dopaminergic motor stimulation in parkinsonian animals and PD patients.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons that results in characteristic motor and non-motor symptoms. L-3,4 dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) is the gold standard therapy for the treatment of PD. However, long-term use of L-DOPA leads to side effects such as dyskinesias and motor fluctuation. Since purines have neurotransmitter and co-transmitter properties, the function of the purinergic system has been thoroughly studied in the nervous system. Adenosine and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) are modulators of dopaminergic neurotransmission, neuroinflammatory processes, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity and cell death via purinergic receptor subtypes. Aberrant purinergic receptor signalling can be either the cause or the result of numerous pathological conditions, including neurodegenerative disorders. Many data confirm the involvement of purinergic signalling pathways in PD. Modulation of purinergic receptor subtypes, the activity of ectonucleotidases and ATP transporters could be beneficial in the treatment of PD. We give a brief summary of the background of purinergic signalling focusing on its roles in PD. Possible targets for pharmacological treatment are highlighted.