Plasticity-enhancing effects of levodopa treatment after stroke

Daniela Talhada, Niklas Marklund, Tadeusz Wieloch, Enida Kuric, Karsten Ruscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dopaminergic treatment in combination with rehabilitative training enhances long-term recovery after stroke. However, the underlying mechanisms on structural plasticity are unknown. Here, we show an increased dopaminergic innervation of the ischemic territory during the first week after stroke induced in Wistar rats subjected to transient occlusion of the middle cerebral ar-tery (tMCAO) for 120 min. This response was also found in rats subjected to permanent focal ische-mia induced by photothrombosis (PT) and mice subjected to PT or tMCAO. Dopaminergic branches were detected in the infarct core of mice and rats in both stroke models. In addition, the Nogo A pathway was significantly downregulated in rats treated with levodopa (LD) compared to vehicle-treated animals subjected to tMCAO. Specifically, the number of Nogo A positive oligodendrocytes as well as the levels of Nogo A and the Nogo A receptor were significantly downregulated in the peri-infarct area of LD-treated animals, while the number of Oligodendrocyte transcription factor 2 positive cells increased in this region after treatment. In addition, we observed lower protein levels of Growth Associated Protein 43 in the peri-infarct area compared to sham-operated animals with-out treatment effect. The results provide the first evidence of the plasticity-promoting actions of dopaminergic treatment following stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10226
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Neurology

Free keywords

  • Dopamine
  • Neuronal plasticiticy
  • Nogo A
  • Nogo receptor
  • Oligodendro-cyte
  • Stroke recovery


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