© 2017 The Author(s). Chronic levodopa treatment leads to the appearance of dyskinesia in the majority of Parkinson's disease patients. Neurovascular dysregulation in putaminal and pallidal regions is thought to be an underlying feature of this complication of treatment. We used microPET to study unilaterally lesioned 6-hydroxydopamine rats that developed levodopa-induced abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs) after three weeks of drug treatment. Animals were scanned with [15O]-labeled water and [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose, to map regional cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism, and with [11C]-isoaminobutyric acid (AIB), to assess blood-brain-barrier (BBB) permeability, following separate injections of levodopa or saline. Multitracer scan data were acquired in each animal before initiating levodopa treatment, and again following the period of daily drug administration. Significant dissociation of vasomotor and metabolic levodopa responses was seen in the striatum/globus pallidus (GP) of the lesioned hemisphere. These changes were accompanied by nearby increases in [11C]-AIB uptake in the ipsilateral GP, which correlated with AIMs scores. Histopathological analysis revealed high levels of microvascular nestin immunoreactivity in the same region. The findings demonstrate that regional flow-metabolism dissociation and increased BBB permeability are simultaneously induced by levodopa within areas of active microvascular remodeling, and that such changes correlate with the severity of dyskinesia.
Faculty; SOM Student; Northwell Researcher; Northwell Resident
School of Medicine; Northwell Health