ABSTRACT: The opioid-like neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) and its receptor (NOP receptor) contribute to Parkinson's disease (PD) and motor complications associated with levodopa therapy. The N/OFQ-NOP receptor system is expressed in cortical and subcortical motor areas and, notably, in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra compacta. Dopamine depletion, as in rodent models of PD results in up-regulation of N/OFQ transmission in the substantia nigra and down-regulation of N/OFQ transmission in the striatum. Consistent with this, NOP receptor antagonists relieve motor deficits in PD models by reinstating the physiological balance between excitatory and inhibitory inputs impinging on nigro-thalamic GABAergic neurons. NOP receptor antagonists also counteract the degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons, possibly by attenuating the excitotoxicity or modulating the immune response. Conversely, NOP receptor agonists attenuate levodopa-induced dyskinesia by attenuating the hyperactivation of striatal D1 receptor signalling in neurons of the direct striatonigral pathway. The N/OFQ-NOP receptor system might represent a novel target in the therapy of PD.
Project description:To investigate whether the endogenous neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) contributes to the death of dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease, we undertook a genetic and a pharmacological approach using NOP receptor knockout (NOP(-/-)) mice, and the selective and potent small molecule NOP receptor antagonist (-)-cis-1-methyl-7-[[4-(2,6-dichlorophenyl)piperidin-1-yl]methyl]-6,7,8,9-tetrahydro-5H-benzocyclohepten-5-ol (SB-612111). Stereological unbiased methods were used to estimate the total number of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra of i) NOP(-/-) mice acutely treated with the parkinsonian neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), ii) naïve mice subacutely treated with MPTP, alone or in combination with SB-612111, iii) rats injected with a recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector overexpressing human mutant p.A53T ?-synuclein, treated with vehicle or SB-612111. NOP(-/-) mice showed a 50% greater amount of nigral dopamine neurons spared in response to acute MPTP compared to controls, which was associated with a milder motor impairment. SB-612111, given 4 days after MPTP treatment to mimic the clinical condition, prevented the loss of nigral dopamine neurons and striatal dopaminergic terminals caused by subacute MPTP. SB-612111, administered a week after the AAV injections in a clinically-driven protocol, also increased by 50% both the number of spared nigral dopamine neurons and striatal dopamine terminals, and prevented accompanying motor deficits induced by ?-synuclein. We conclude that endogenous N/OFQ contributes to dopamine neuron loss in pathogenic and etiologic models of Parkinson's disease through NOP receptor-mediated mechanisms. NOP receptor antagonists might prove effective as disease-modifying agents in Parkinson's disease, through the rescue of degenerating nigral dopamine neurons and/or the protection of the healthy ones.
Project description:Antagonists selectively inhibiting activation of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) receptor reduce motor symptoms in experimental models of Parkinson's disease, and genetic deletion of the ppN/OFQ gene offers partial protection of mid-brain dopamine neurons against the neurotoxin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). MPTP increased ppN/OFQ mRNA expression in the substantia nigra (SN). We have evaluated the temporal relationship of dopamine cell loss to increased ppN/OFQ mRNA expression in the substantia nigra after MPTP treatment, and characterized the cellular locations in which increased ppN/OFQ mRNA expression was observed after MPTP treatment. MPTP increased by about 5-fold the number of neurons expressing ppN/OFQ mRNA in the pars reticulata of SN (SNr) by 24 h after treatment and the elevation remained significant for at least 7 days. This period coincided with the timing of the loss of dopamine neurons from the pars compacta of substantia nigra (SNc) after MPTP. The increased expression of ppN/OFQ mRNA co-localized with a neuronal marker in the SNr. MPTP treatment resulted in a small increase in the numbers of neurons expressing ppN/OFQ in the SNc in mice from one mouse colony but the increase did not reach statistical significance in mice from another colony. No changes in ppN/OFQ-mRNA expression were observed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), the caudate-putamen, the subthalamic nucleus, or in two other brains areas. These results demonstrate that increased N/OFQ expression in the SNr is closely associated with the MPTP-induced loss of dopamine neurons in the SNc in a widely used animal model of Parkinson's disease.
Project description:Levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) is a common consequence of prolonged pharmacotherapy for Parkinson's disease (PD). While LID becomes more common with long term exposure to levodopa, its development can be quite variable. We leveraged the variable expression of LID in a rat model to interrogate differential gene expression in the substantia nigra and striatum of animals that develop LID and those that do not. Differential expression of genes associated with LID was found only in striatum, not substantia nigra. Overall design: All rats were unilaterally lesioned using identical parameters with either 6-hydroxydopamine or vehicle lesion. Success was determined by >90% reduction of DA in the striatum as measured by HPLC, and behaviorally using non-drugged motor behavior testing. Daily injections of levodopa or saline were commenced 3.5 weeks after 6-OHDA lesioning. LID behaviors were rated every other day for a total of seven sessions.
Project description:Rasagiline (N-propargyl-1 (R)-aminoindan) is a novel propargylamine, irreversible, selective monoamine oxidase inhibitor for treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), a progressive condition associated with degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Rasagiline inhibits striatal dopamine metabolism, thereby providing relief from motor symptoms of PD. It may be dosed once daily and, unlike selegiline, it is metabolized to non-amphetamine compounds. In a large clinical trial, rasagiline has proved effective, safe, and well tolerated in early PD as monotherapy. In two phase III clinical trials in advanced PD with motor fluctuations, rasagiline as an adjunct to levodopa significantly decreases "off" time. In animal models of PD, data supports a neuroprotective effect of rasagiline, and its active metabolite aminoindan. Analysis of delayed-start clinical trial suggests the potential for disease modification, and further trials are examining this effect.
Project description:Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms which relentlessly and progressively lead to substantial disability and economic burden. Pathologically, these symptoms follow the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) associated with abnormal ?-synuclein (?-Syn) deposition as cytoplasmic inclusions called Lewy bodies in pigmented brainstem nuclei, and in dystrophic neurons in striatal and cortical regions (Lewy neurites). Pharmacotherapy for PD focuses on improving quality of life and primarily targets dopaminergic pathways. Dopamine acts through two families of receptors, dopamine D1-like and dopamine D2-like; dopamine D3 receptors (D3R) belong to dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) family. Although D3R's precise role in the pathophysiology and treatment of PD has not been determined, we present evidence suggesting an important role for D3R in the early development and occurrence of PD. Agonist activation of D3R increases dopamine concentration, decreases ?-Syn accumulation, enhances secretion of brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF), ameliorates neuroinflammation, alleviates oxidative stress, promotes neurogenesis in the nigrostriatal pathway, interacts with D1R to reduce PD associated motor symptoms and ameliorates side effects of levodopa (L-DOPA) treatment. Furthermore, D3R mutations can predict PD age of onset and prognosis of PD treatment. The role of D3R in PD merits further research. This review elucidates the potential role of D3R in PD pathogenesis and therapy.
Project description:In the two decades since the discovery of the nociceptin opioid receptor (NOP) and its ligand, nociceptin/orphaninFQ (N/OFQ), steady progress has been achieved in understanding the pharmacology of this fourth opioid receptor/peptide system, aided by genetic and pharmacologic approaches. This research spawned an explosion of small-molecule NOP receptor ligands from discovery programs in major pharmaceutical companies. NOP agonists have been investigated for their efficacy in preclinical models of anxiety, cough, substance abuse, pain (spinal and peripheral), and urinary incontinence, whereas NOP antagonists have been investigated for treatment of pain, depression, and motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. Translation of preclinical findings into the clinic is guided by PET and receptor occupancy studies, particularly for NOP antagonists. Recent progress in preclinical NOP research suggests that NOP agonists may have clinical utility for pain treatment and substance abuse pharmacotherapy. This review discusses the progress toward validating the NOP-N/OFQ system as a therapeutic target.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>The nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ) receptor (NOP) is a member of the opioid receptor family and is involved in a number of physiological responses, pain and immune regulation as examples. In this study, we conjugated a red fluorophore-ATTO594 to the peptide ligand N/OFQ (N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> ) for the NOP receptor and explored NOP receptor function at high (in recombinant systems) and low (on immune cells) expression.<h4>Experimental approach</h4>We assessed N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> receptor binding, selectivity and functional activity in recombinant (CHO) cell lines. Live cell N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> binding was measured in (i) HEK cells expressing NOP and NOP<sub>GFP</sub> receptors, (ii) CHO cells expressing the hNOPGαqi5 chimera (to force coupling to measurable Ca<sup>2+</sup> responses) and (iii) freshly isolated human polymorphonuclear cells (PMN).<h4>Key results</h4>N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> bound to NOP receptor with nM affinity and high selectivity. N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> activated NOP receptor by reducing cAMP formation and increasing Ca<sup>2+</sup> levels in CHO<sub>hNOPGαqi5</sub> cells. N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> was also able to visualize NOP receptors at low expression levels on PMN cells. In NOP-GFP-tagged receptors, N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> was used in a FRET protocol where GFP emission activated ATTO, visualizing ligand-receptor interaction. When the NOP<sub>GFP</sub> receptor is activated by N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> , movement of ligand and receptor from the cell surface to the cytosol can be measured.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>In the absence of validated NOP receptor antibodies and issues surrounding the use of radiolabels (especially in low expression systems), these data indicate the utility of N/OFQ<sub>ATTO594</sub> to study a wide range of N/OFQ-driven cellular responses.
Project description:Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive extrapyramidal motor disorder. Pathologically, this disease is characterized by the selective dopaminergic (DAergic) neuronal degeneration in the substantia nigra. Correcting the DA deficiency in PD with levodopa (L-dopa) significantly attenuates the motor symptoms; however, its effectiveness often declines, and L-dopa-related adverse effects emerge after long-term treatment. Nowadays, DA receptor agonists are useful medication even regarded as first choice to delay the starting of L-dopa therapy. In advanced stage of PD, they are also used as adjunct therapy together with L-dopa. DA receptor agonists act by stimulation of presynaptic and postsynaptic DA receptors. Despite the usefulness, they could be causative drugs for valvulopathy and nonmotor complication such as DA dysregulation syndrome (DDS). In this paper, physiological characteristics of DA receptor familyare discussed. We also discuss the validity, benefits, and specific adverse effects of pharmaceutical DA receptor agonist.
Project description:Parkinson's disease [PD] is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer's disease, affecting 1% of the population over the age of 55. The underlying neuropathology seen in PD is characterised by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta with the presence of Lewy bodies. The Lewy bodies are composed of aggregates of ?-synuclein. The motor manifestations of PD include a resting tremor, bradykinesia, and muscle rigidity. Currently there is no cure for PD and motor symptoms are treated with a number of drugs including levodopa [L-dopa]. These drugs do not delay progression of the disease and often provide only temporary relief. Their use is often accompanied by severe adverse effects. Emerging evidence from both in vivo and in vitro studies suggests that caffeine may reduce parkinsonian motor symptoms by antagonising the adenosine A2A receptor, which is predominately expressed in the basal ganglia. It is hypothesised that caffeine may increase the excitatory activity in local areas by inhibiting the astrocytic inflammatory processes but evidence remains inconclusive. In addition, the co-administration of caffeine with currently available PD drugs helps to reduce drug tolerance, suggesting that caffeine may be used as an adjuvant in treating PD. In conclusion, caffeine may have a wide range of therapeutic effects which are yet to be explored, and therefore warrants further investigation in randomized clinical trials.
Project description:We evaluated the role of the nociceptin/orphanin FQ (NOP) receptor in regulating food intake, meal pattern and the activity of hypothalamic arcuate (ARC) neurons. The microstructural analysis of food intake and meal pattern was performed under both food-deprived and ad libitum conditions. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained using the in vitro hypothalamic slice preparation and biocytin-filled electrodes. NOP receptor knockout mice exhibited significantly reduced body weight. Fasting-induced hyperphagia was diminished for the first 2h of a 6-h re-feeding period, and was associated with decreased meal duration and size, as well as a biphasic effect on meal frequency. The genotype effect observed under ad libitum conditions was comparatively unremarkable. Orphanin FQ/nociceptin (OFQ/N) was able to decrease evoked excitatory postsynaptic current amplitude, increase the S(2):S(1) ratio via the paired-pulse paradigm, and decrease miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequency in ARC neurons from wild type animals but not NOP receptor knockouts. In addition OFQ/N activated a reversible outward current that was antagonized by the G-protein activated, inwardly-rectifying K(+) (GIRK) channel blocker tertiapin in wild type but not NOP knockout animals. Both the presynaptic and postsynaptic actions of OFQ/N were observed in ARC neurons subsequently determined to be immunopositive for characteristic phenotypic markers of anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons. Taken together, these results demonstrate the contribution of the NOP receptor in controlling food intake and meal pattern, as well as glutamate release and GIRK1 channel activity at POMC synapses.