Dopaminergic co-transmission with sonic hedgehog inhibits abnormal involuntary movements in models of Parkinson’s disease and L-Dopa induced dyskinesia

Lauren Malave, Dustin R. Zuelke, Santiago Uribe-Cano, Lev Starikov, Heike Rebholz, Eitan Friedman, Chuan Qin, Qin Li, Erwan Bezard, Andreas H. Kottmann
Commun Biol. 2021-09-22; 4(1):
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-02567-3

L-Dopa induced dyskinesia (LID) is a debilitating side effect of dopamine replacement therapy for Parkinson’s Disease. The mechanistic underpinnings of LID remain obscure. Here we report that diminished sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling in the basal ganglia caused by the degeneration of midbrain dopamine neurons facilitates the formation and expression of LID. We find that the pharmacological activation of Smoothened, a downstream effector of Shh, attenuates LID in the neurotoxic 6-OHDA- and genetic aphakia mouse models of Parkinson’s Disease. Employing conditional genetic loss-of-function approaches, we show that reducing Shh secretion from dopamine neurons or Smoothened activity in cholinergic interneurons promotes LID. Conversely, the selective expression of constitutively active Smoothened in cholinergic interneurons is sufficient to render the sensitized aphakia model of Parkinson’s Disease resistant to LID. Furthermore, acute depletion of Shh from dopamine neurons through prolonged optogenetic stimulation in otherwise intact mice and in the absence of L-Dopa produces LID-like involuntary movements. These findings indicate that augmenting Shh signaling in the L-Dopa treated brain may be a promising therapeutic approach for mitigating the dyskinetic side effects of long-term treatment with L-Dopa.

Know more about