We investigated the effects of dopaminergic stimulation on anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, pro-apoptotic enzyme caspase-3, and anti-oxidant/anti-apoptotic enzyme Cu/Zn super-oxide dismutase (SOD) in human lymphocytes exposed to dopamine (DA). The same determinations were also carried out in parkinsonian patients treated with L-dopa. Caspase-3 activity and Cu/Zn SOD levels tended to increase when lymphocytes were exposed to low or intermediate doses of DA, while a decrease was observed, particularly in caspase-3 activity, with the higher DA dose. Bcl-2 levels were unaffected. In patients, we observed a negative correlation between Cu/Zn SOD levels and daily intake of L-dopa, which also tended to be negatively correlated with caspase-3 activity, but not with Bcl-2. Our results show that dopaminergic stimulation is associated with complex changes in regulatory proteins of apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology