Enhanced functional recovery by levodopa is associated with decreased levels of synaptogyrin following stroke in aged mice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Levodopa is a precursor to dopamine that has been shown to improve functional recovery following stroke partly achieved through mechanisms of brain plasticity. This study investigates if dopamine might affect plasticity by having a direct effect on synaptic plasticity through alterations in neurotransmitter release and re-uptake. Synaptogyrin is a synaptic vesicle protein that has been suggested to be involved in dopamine re-uptake in the synaptic terminal. Therefore, we investigated if levodopa has an effect on the expression of synaptogyrin 1. Thy1-YFP mice were subjected to photothrombosis as an experimental model of stroke. Starting two days after surgery they were treated with either levodopa or a vehicle solution (saline) on a daily basis until day seven following surgery. On day seven they were sacrificed and their brains stained for Dopamine 1 receptor (D1R), Dopamine 2 receptor (D2R) and Parvalbumin (PV). Neu-N stainings were used to estimate infarct size. A second group of mice were subjected to photothrombosis and also treated with either levodopa or a vehicle solution in the same manner as previously mentioned. On day seven they were then sacrificed, and samples of brain tissue were taken for protein determination. Western blots were carried out to investigate possible differences in synaptogyrin expression between the two groups. Immunofluorescent stains showed the presence of dopamine receptors on the YFP-positive neurons and on PV-expressing neurones. Our Western Blot analysis showed a significant decrease in the expression of synaptogyrin in levodopa-treated mice. Our stains showed co-localisation with Thy-1 neurones and PV-expressing neurones for both D1 and D2 receptors. This indicates that dopamine has the ability to bind to, and directly influence cortical neurons, as well as inhibitory interneurons. We discovered a considerable decrease in synaptogyrin expression through levodopa treatment, suggesting that this might be a mechanism for regulating brain plasticity.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences


  • Aged animals, Dopamine signalling, Neuronal plasticity, Stroke recovery, Synaptogyrin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch