Chronic levodopa or pergolide administration induces down-regulation of dopamine receptors in denervated striatum.
Refractory response to dopamine (DA) agonists is a common problem in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. In rats with unilateral lesions of the substantia nigra, denervation induced significant increases in striatal 3(H)-spiperone binding sites ipsilateral to the lesion. Chronic treatment with levodopa or with pergolide mesylate significantly decreased the number of 3(H)-spiperone striatal binding sites. Agonist-induced decreases were approximately equivalent in intact and denervated striata and did not appear to be affected by lesions. These results suggest that the poor response to DA agonist in certain parkinsonian patients with chronic drug exposure may be mediated by drug-induced DA receptor down-regulation.
Reches, A; Wagner, HR; Jackson-Lewis, V; Yablonskaya-Alter, E; Fahn, S
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