Subchronic administration of l-DOPA to adult rats with a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesion of dopamine neurons results in a sensitization of enhanced GABA release in the substantia nigra, pars reticulata.

Yamamoto N, Pierce RC, Soghomonian JJ

Brain Res, 1123(1):196-200

L-DOPA is the most effective pharmacological agent used for the symptomatic treatment of Parkinson's disease but long-term L-DOPA treatment induces involuntary abnormal movements such as dyskinesias. The present study, using in vivo microdialysis, investigated the effects of a single or subchronic administration of L-DOPA to adult rats with a unilateral 6-OHDA lesion of dopamine neurons on GABA release in the substantia nigra, pars reticulata (SNr). The results indicate that a challenge injection of L-DOPA (50 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly increases GABA levels in the SNr of rats treated with a daily repeated administration of L-DOPA (50 mg/kg, i.p.). Further statistical analysis between groups also showed that extracellular GABA levels were significantly higher in the subchronic L-DOPA group than in the group receiving only one injection of L-DOPA. These results show that the subchronic administration of L-DOPA results in a sensitization of enhanced extracellular GABA levels in the SNr.