Differential Expression of Striatal ΔFosB mRNA and FosB mRNA After Different Levodopa Treatment Regimens in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Victoria Palafox-Sanchez, Victoria Sosti, Gabriel Ramirez-García, Jaime Kulisevsky, José Aguilera, I. Daniel Limón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

2 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) is the main side effect associated with levodopa treatment and represents the biggest challenge for Parkinson’s disease therapy. While the overexpression of ΔFosB transcription factor is related to the development of LID, few studies have been undertaken on fosB gene transcriptional regulation induced by levodopa in vivo. The aim of this study is to evaluate the expression of ΔFosB mRNA and FosB mRNA in the striatum after acute, chronic, and subchronic levodopa treatment in rats with unilateral 6-OHDA-lesion in the medial forebrain bundle. qRT-PCR was used to compare the levels of ΔFosB and FosB mRNA expression in the dopamine-denervated striatum following levodopa treatment. While the results obtained after a single levodopa dose indicate a significant increase of ∆FosB mRNA expression in the striatum 1 h post-injection, the levels returned to baseline values after 24 h. After subchronic levodopa treatment, the levels of ∆FosB and FosB mRNA expression were lower 1 h post-administration of levodopa in comparison with acute effect. However, after chronic levodopa treatment, ∆FosB mRNA expression in the striatum persisted in dyskinetic rats only, and positive correlation was found between the levels of ∆FosB mRNA expression 1 h after levodopa administration and the level of dyskinetic severity. In summary, acute levodopa treatment led to highly increased levels of ∆FosB mRNA expression in the striatum. While repeated administration induced a partial desensitization of the fosB gene in the striatum, it did not suppress its activity completely, which could explain why dyskinesia appears after chronic levodopa treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-574
JournalNeurotoxicity Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Dyskinesia
  • fosB gene
  • Levodopa
  • Striatum
  • ΔFosB mRNA

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