Antiparkinsonian effects of a metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 agonist in MPTP-treated marmosets

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Background: Increased firing across glutamatergic synapses may contribute to both the motor dysfunction and L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia seen in Parkinson’s disease. Given their ability to reduce glutamate release, activation of group III metabotropic glutamate receptors such as metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 may prove effective against both motor dysfunction and dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.

Objectives: We hypothesised that activation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 by an orthosteric agonist ((2S)-2-amino-4-(hydroxy(hydroxy(4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-nitrophenyl)methyl)phosphoryl)butanoic acid, LSP1-2111) would produce antiparkinsonian activity and reduce expression of dyskinesia in a 1-methyl-4-phenyl,1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-treated marmoset model of Parkinson’s disease.

Methods: Common marmosets were previously treated with MPTP and pre-primed with L-DOPA for up to 28 days to express dyskinesia. LSP1-2111 (1, 3 or 6 mg/kg s.c.) or vehicle (0.9% saline s.c.) were administered immediately prior to L-DOPA (8 mg/kg + benserazide (10 mg/kg) p.o.) or vehicle (10% sucrose p.o.). Locomotor activity was measured in automated test cages and animals were scored for dyskinesia and disability.

Results: As expected, L-DOPA reversed motor disability and induced moderate dyskinesia. By contrast, LSP1-2111 alone significantly reduced the motor disability without any accompanying expression of dyskinesia. When administered in combination with L-DOPA, LSP1-2111 did not significantly reduce the severity of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.

Conclusions: Systemic administration of LSP1-2111 reduces motor disability without causing dyskinesia in MPTP-treated marmosets, supporting a role for metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 orthosteric agonists as promising monotherapy for PD. Conversely, this study found no evidence to support their use as antidyskinetic agents within the dose range tested.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of parkinsons disease
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020


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