Learning critically drives parkinsonian motor deficits through imbalanced striatal pathway recruitment
Dopamine (DA) loss in Parkinson's disease (PD) causes debilitating motor deficits. However, dopamine is also widely linked to reward prediction and learning, and the contribution of dopamine-dependent learning to movements that are impaired in PD-which often do not lead to explicit rewards-is unclear. Here, we used two distinct motor tasks to dissociate dopamine's acute motoric effects vs. its long-lasting, learning-mediated effects. In dopamine-depleted mice, motor task performance gradually worsened with task exposure. Task experience was critical, as mice that remained in the home cage during the same period were relatively unimpaired when subsequently probed on the task. Repeated dopamine replacement treatments acutely rescued deficits and gradually induced long-term rescue that persisted despite treatment withdrawal. Surprisingly, both long-term rescue and parkinsonian performance decline were task specific, implicating dopamine-dependent learning. D1R activation potently induced acute rescue that gradually consolidated into long-term rescue. Conversely, reduced D2R activation potently induced parkinsonian decline. In dopamine-depleted mice, either D1R activation or D2R activation prevented parkinsonian decline, and both restored balanced activation of direct vs. indirect striatal pathways. These findings suggest that reinforcement and maintenance of movements-even movements not leading to explicit rewards-are fundamental functions of dopamine and provide potential mechanisms for the hitherto unexplained "long-duration response" by dopaminergic therapies in PD.
Alterations in the intrinsic properties of striatal cholinergic interneurons after dopamine lesion and chronic L-DOPA
Changes in striatal cholinergic interneuron (ChI) activity are thought to contribute to Parkinson's disease pathophysiology and dyskinesia from chronic L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) treatment, but the physiological basis of these changes is unknown. We find that dopamine lesion decreases the spontaneous firing rate of ChIs, whereas chronic treatment with L-DOPA of lesioned mice increases baseline ChI firing rates to levels beyond normal activity. The effect of dopamine loss on ChIs was due to decreased currents of both hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) and small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels. L-DOPA reinstatement of dopamine normalized HCN activity, but SK current remained depressed. Pharmacological blockade of HCN and SK activities mimicked changes in firing, confirming that these channels are responsible for the molecular adaptation of ChIs to dopamine loss and chronic L-DOPA treatment. These findings suggest that targeting ChIs with channel-specific modulators may provide therapeutic approaches for alleviating L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia in PD patients.
Comparative study of cerebrospinal fluid Î±-synuclein seeding aggregation assays for diagnosis of Parkinson's disease
BACKGROUND:PD diagnosis is based primarily on clinical criteria and can be inaccurate. Biological markers, such as Î±-synuclein aggregation, that reflect ongoing pathogenic processes may increase diagnosis accuracy and allow disease progression monitoring. Though Î±-synuclein aggregation assays have been published, reproducibility, standardization, and validation are key challenges for their development as clinical biomarkers. OBJECTIVE:To cross-validate two Î±-synuclein seeding aggregation assays developed to detect pathogenic oligomeric Î±-synuclein species in CSF using samples from the same PD patients and healthy controls from the BioFIND cohort. METHODS:CSF samples were tested by two independent laboratories in a blinded fashion. BioFIND features standardized biospecimen collection of clinically typical moderate PD patients and nondisease controls. Î±-synuclein aggregation was measured by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (Soto lab) and real-time quaking-induced conversion (Green lab). Results were analyzed by an independent statistician. RESULTS:Measuring 105 PD and 79 healthy control CSF samples, these assays showed 92% concordance. The areas under the curve from receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for the diagnosis of PD versus healthy controls were 0.93 for protein misfolding cyclic amplification, 0.89 for real-time quaking-induced conversion, and 0.95 when considering only concordant assay results. Clinical characteristics of false-positive and -negative subjects were not different from true-negative and -positive subjects, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:These Î±-synuclein seeding aggregation assays are reliable and reproducible for PD diagnosis. Assay parameters did not correlate with clinical parameters, including disease severity or duration. This assay is highly accurate for PD diagnosis and may impact clinical practice and clinical trials. Â© 2019 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Substantia Nigra Pars Reticulata Projections to the Pedunculopontine Nucleus Modulate Dyskinesia
BACKGROUND:Long-term use of levodopa for Parkinson's disease (PD) treatment is often hindered by development of motor complications, including levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). The substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) and globus pallidus internal segment (GPi) are the output nuclei of the basal ganglia. Dysregulation of SNr and GPi activity contributes to PD pathophysiology and LID. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to determine whether direct modulation of SNr GABAergic neurons and SNr projections to the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) regulates PD symptoms and LID in a mouse model. METHODS:We expressed Cre-recombinase activated channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) or halorhodopsin adeno-associated virus-2 (AAV2) vectors selectively in SNr GABAergic neurons of Vgat-IRES-Cre mice in a 6-hydroxydopamine model of PD to investigate whether direct optogenetic modulation of SNr neurons or their projections to the PPN regulates PD symptoms and LID expression. The forepaw stepping task, mouse LID rating scale, and open-field locomotion were used to assess akinesia and LID to test the effect of SNr modulation. RESULTS:Akinesia was improved by suppressing SNr neuron activity with halorhodopsin. LID was significantly reduced by increasing SNr neuronal activity with ChR2, which did not interfere with the antiakinetic effect of levodopa. Optical stimulation of ChR2 in SNr projections to the PPN recapitulated direct SNr stimulation. CONCLUSIONS:Modulation of SNr GABAergic neurons alters akinesia and LID expression in a manner consistent with the rate model of basal ganglia circuitry. Moreover, the projections from SNr to PPN likely mediate the antidyskinetic effect of increasing SNr neuronal activity, identifying a potential novel role for the PPN in LID. © 2023 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Toward a biomarker panel measured in CNS-originating extracellular vesicles for improved differential diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and multiple system atrophy [Letter]
Author Correction: Dysautonomia and REM sleep behavior disorder contributions to progression of Parkinson's disease phenotypes
Aggregation-Seeding Forms of Î±-Synuclein Are Not Detected in Acute Coronavirus Disease 2019 Cerebrospinal Fluid [Letter]
Study in Parkinson's disease of exercise phase 3 (SPARX3): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
BACKGROUND:To date, no medication has slowed the progression of Parkinson's disease (PD). Preclinical, epidemiological, and experimental data on humans all support many benefits of endurance exercise among persons with PD. The key question is whether there is a definitive additional benefit of exercising at high intensity, in terms of slowing disease progression, beyond the well-documented benefit of endurance training on a treadmill for fitness, gait, and functional mobility. This study will determine the efficacy of high-intensity endurance exercise as first-line therapy for persons diagnosed with PD within 3 years, and untreated with symptomatic therapy at baseline. METHODS:This is a multicenter, randomized, evaluator-blinded study of endurance exercise training. The exercise intervention will be delivered by treadmill at 2 doses over 18 months: moderate intensity (4 days/week for 30 min per session at 60-65% maximum heart rate) and high intensity (4 days/week for 30 min per session at 80-85% maximum heart rate). We will randomize 370 participants and follow them at multiple time points for 24 months. The primary outcome is the Movement Disorders Society-Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) motor score (Part III) with the primary analysis assessing the change in MDS-UPDRS motor score (Part III) over 12 months, or until initiation of symptomatic antiparkinsonian treatment if before 12 months. Secondary outcomes are striatal dopamine transporter binding, 6-min walk distance, number of daily steps, cognitive function, physical fitness, quality of life, time to initiate dopaminergic medication, circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Tertiary outcomes are walking stride length and turning velocity. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:SPARX3 is a Phase 3 clinical trial designed to determine the efficacy of high-intensity, endurance treadmill exercise to slow the progression of PD as measured by the MDS-UPDRS motor score. Establishing whether high-intensity endurance treadmill exercise can slow the progression of PD would mark a significant breakthrough in treating PD. It would have a meaningful impact on the quality of life of people with PD, their caregivers and public health. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04284436 . Registered on February 25, 2020.
Dysautonomia and REM sleep behavior disorder contributions to progression of Parkinson's disease phenotypes
Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) such as dysautonomia and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) are recognized to be important prodromal symptoms that may also indicate clinical subtypes of PD with different pathogenesis. Unbiased clustering analyses showed that subjects with dysautonomia and RBD symptoms, as well as early cognitive dysfunction, have faster progression of the disease. Through analysis of the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) de novo PD cohort, we tested the hypothesis that symptoms of dysautonomia and RBD, which are readily assessed by standard questionnaires in an ambulatory care setting, may help to independently prognosticate disease progression. Although these two symptoms associate closely, dysautonomia symptoms predict severe progression of motor and non-motor symptoms better than RBD symptoms across the 3-year follow-up period. Autonomic system involvement has not received as much attention and may be important to consider for stratification of subjects for clinical trials and for counseling patients.
Reply to: "Letter on DiscussionÂ of Gait Research" [Comment]