Molecular adaptations of striatal spiny projection neurons during levodopa-induced dyskinesia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Levodopa treatment is the major pharmacotherapy for Parkinson's disease. However, almost all patients receiving levodopa eventually develop debilitating involuntary movements (dyskinesia). Although it is known that striatal spiny projection neurons (SPNs) are involved in the genesis of this movement disorder, the molecular basis of dyskinesia is not understood. In this study, we identify distinct cell-type-specific gene-expression changes that occur in subclasses of SPNs upon induction of a parkinsonian lesion followed by chronic levodopa treatment. We identify several hundred genes, the expression of which is correlated with levodopa dose, many of which are under the control of activator protein-1 and ERK signaling. Despite homeostatic adaptations involving several signaling modulators, activator protein-1-dependent gene expression remains highly dysregulated in direct pathway SPNs upon chronic levodopa treatment. We also discuss which molecular pathways are most likely to dampen abnormal dopaminoceptive signaling in spiny projection neurons, hence providing potential targets for antidyskinetic treatments in Parkinson's disease.


  • Myriam Heiman
  • Adrian Heilbut
  • Veronica Francardo
  • Ruth Kulicke
  • Robert J. Fenster
  • Eric D. Kolaczyk
  • Jill P. Mesirov
  • Dalton James Surmeier
  • M. Angela Cenci
  • Paul Greengard
External organisations
  • Rockefeller University
  • Broad Institute
  • Boston University
  • Northwestern University
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4578-4583
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch