Distinct patterns of dyskinetic and dystonic features following D1 or D2 receptor stimulation in a mouse model of parkinsonism

Laura Andreoli, Morteza Abbaszadeh, Xiao Cao, Maria Angela Cenci

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1 Citation (SciVal)


L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID) is a significant complication of dopamine replacement therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD), and the specific role of different dopamine receptors in this disorder is poorly understood. We set out to compare patterns of dyskinetic behaviours induced by the systemic administration of L-DOPA and D1 or D2 receptor (D1R, D2R) agonists in mice with unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions. Mice were divided in four groups to receive increasing doses of L-DOPA, a D1R agonist (SKF38393), a D2/3 agonist (quinpirole), or a selective D2R agonist (sumanirole). Axial, limb and orofacial abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs) were rated using a well-established method, while dystonic features were quantified in different body segments using a new rating scale. Measures of abnormal limb and trunk posturing were extracted from high-speed videos using a software for markerless pose estimation (DeepLabCut). While L-DOPA induced the full spectrum of dyskinesias already described in this mouse model, SKF38393 induced mostly orofacial and limb AIMs. By contrast, both of the D2-class agonists (quinpirole, sumanirole) induced predominantly axial AIMs. Dystonia ratings revealed that these agonists elicited marked dystonic features in trunk/neck, forelimbs, and hindlimbs, which were overall more severe in sumanirole-treated mice. Accordingly, sumanirole induced pronounced axial bending and hindlimb divergence in the automated video analysis. In animals treated with SKF38393, the only appreciable dystonic-like reaction consisted in sustained tail dorsiflexion and stiffness. We next compared the effects of D1R or D2R selective antagonists in L-DOPA-treated mice, where only the D2R antagonist had a significant effect on dystonic features. Taken together these results indicate that the dystonic components of LID are predominantly mediated by the D2R.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105429
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurosciences


  • Basal ganglia
  • Movement disorders
  • Parkinsonian
  • Straub tail
  • Striatal pathways
  • Video tracking


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