[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: A promising target for improved therapeutics in Parkinson's disease is the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). nAChRs are widely distributed throughout the brain, including the nigrostriatal system, and exert important modulatory effects on numerous behaviors. Accumulating evidence suggests that drugs such as nicotine that act at these sites may be of benefit for Parkinson's disease treatment. Recent work indicates that a potential novel therapeutic application is the use of nicotine to reduce levodopa-induced dyskinesias, a side effect of dopamine replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease. Several clinical trials also report that nicotine may diminish disease symptoms. Not only may nAChR drugs provide symptomatic improvement, but they may also attenuate the neurodegenerative process itself. This latter idea is supported by epidemiological studies which consistently demonstrate a ∼50% reduced incidence of Parkinson's disease in smokers. Experimental work in parkinsonian animal models suggests that nicotine in tobacco may contribute to this protection. These combined findings suggest that nicotine and nAChR drugs offer the possibility of improved therapeutics for Parkinson's disease.
Full-text Article · Aug 2011 · CNS & neurological disorders drug targets
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The development of abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs) or dyskinesias is a serious complication of L-DOPA [L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine] therapy for Parkinson's disease. Our previous work had shown that intermittent nicotine dosing reduced L-DOPA-induced dyskinetic-like movements in nonhuman primates. A readily available nicotine formulation is the nicotine patch, which provides a constant source of nicotine. However, constant nicotine administration more readily desensitizes nicotinic receptors, to possibly yield alternate behavioral outcomes. Therefore, we investigated whether constant nicotine administration reduced L-DOPA-induced AIMs in a rat parkinsonian model, with results compared with those with intermittent nicotine dosing. Rats with a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesion were exposed to either intermittent (drinking water) or constant (minipump) nicotine for > or = 2 weeks at doses that yielded plasma levels of the nicotine metabolite cotinine similar to those in smokers. The rats were next treated with L-DOPA/benserazide (8 or 12 mg/kg/15 mg/kg) for > or = 3 weeks to allow for the development of AIMs, with nicotine treatment continued. Both modes of nicotine administration resulted in > or = 50% decline in L-DOPA-induced AIMs. Nicotine treatment also significantly reduced AIMs in L-DOPA-primed rats using either dosing regimen, whereas nicotine removal led to an increase in AIMs. There was no effect of nicotine on various measures of motor performance in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. In summary, nicotine provided either via the drinking water or minipump reduced L-DOPA-induced AIMs in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. These results suggest that either intermittent or constant nicotine treatment may be useful in the treatment of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias in patients with Parkinson's disease.
Article · Oct 2008 · Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics