Experimental neurology

Buspirone requires the intact nigrostriatal pathway to reduce the activity of the subthalamic nucleus via 5-HT1A receptors.

PMID 26687972


The most effective treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD), l-DOPA, induces dyskinesia after prolonged use. We have previously shown that in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesioned rats rendered dyskinetic by prolonged l-DOPA administration, lesion of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) reduces not only dyskinesias but also buspirone antidyskinetic effect. This study examined the effect of buspirone on STN neuron activity. Cell-attached recordings in parasagittal slices from naïve rats showed that whilst serotonin excited the majority of STN neurons, buspirone showed an inhibitory main effect but only in 27% of the studied cells which was prevented by the 5-HT1A receptor selective antagonist WAY-100635. Conversely, single-unit extracellular recordings were performed in vivo on STN neurons from four different groups, i.e., control, chronically treated with l-DOPA, 6-OHDA lesioned and lesioned treated with l-DOPA (dyskinetic) rats. In control animals, systemic-buspirone administration decreased the firing rate in a dose-dependent manner in every cell studied. This effect, prevented by WAY-100635, was absent in 6-OHDA lesioned rats and was not modified by prolonged l-DOPA administration. Altogether, buspirone in vivo reduces consistently the firing rate of the STN neurons through 5-HT1A receptors whereas ex vivo buspirone seems to affect only a small population of STN neurons. Furthermore, the lack of effect of buspirone in 6-OHDA lesioned rats, suggests the requirement of not only the activation of 5-HT1A receptors but also an intact nigrostriatal pathway for buspirone to inhibit the STN activity.

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