Neurotoxicity research

Intranasal and subcutaneous administration of dopamine D3 receptor agonists functionally restores nigrostriatal dopamine in MPTP-treated mice.

PMID 23820985


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease with a hallmark motor defect caused by the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Intranasal drug administration may be useful for Parkinson's treatment because this route avoids first-pass metabolism and increases bioavailability in the brain. In this study, we investigated the neuroprotection/neurorestoration effect of dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) agonists administered via both intranasal and subcutaneous routes in the MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine)-induced PD mouse model. Furthermore, we employed D3R knock-out mice to validate the dependence on D3R signaling. We found that in wild-type mice, but not D3 receptor knockout mice, both intranasal and subcutaneous administration of D3R agonists rescue dopamine (DA) depletion in the striatum as well as DA neuronal death in the substantia nigra after MPTP treatment. Moreover, subcutaneous 7-OH-DPAT administration significantly improved gait performance (stride length and overall running speed) of MPTP-lesioned mice after 7 and 14 days of recovery. In addition, the distribution of D3 agonist 7-OH-DPAT was measured in designated brain areas by mass spectrometry analysis after subcutaneous and intranasal administration. Our data suggest that intranasal administration of D3R agonist would be a practical approach to treat PD.