Single or combined treatment with l-DOPA and quinpirole differentially modulate expression and phosphorylation of key regulatory kinases in neuroblastoma cells

Marie Therese Fuzzati-Armentero, Cristina Ghezzi, Robert Nisticò, Adriano Oda, Fabio Blandini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the past decades, the clinical use of dopamine agonists has expanded from adjunct therapy in patients with a deteriorating response to l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) to monotherapy for the treatment of early PD. Dopamine agonists provide their antiparkinsonian benefit through stimulation of brain postsynaptic type 2 dopamine receptors that exert their effect through classical cAMP-dependent mechanisms, as well as cAMP-independent cellular signaling cascades, including the Akt/glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) pathway. Alterations of Akt/GSK3 have been observed and may contribute to the neurodegenerative processes and the development of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. The effects l-DOPA and quinpirole, a dopamine agonist, on the two key regulatory kinases, Akt and GSK3, were evaluated in neuroblastoma cell line. l-DOPA and dopamine agonist dose-dependently and differentially modulated Akt and GSK3 expression and phosphorylation when added alone or combined. The combined treatment inverted or potentiated the modulatory properties of the single compound. The drug- and concentration-dependent balance of dopamine receptor stimulation over auto-oxidation may distinctively modulate GSK3 isoforms and Akt. Our results indicate that particular attention must be given to drug concentration and combination when multiple therapies are applied for the clinical treatment of PD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • Akt
  • Dopamine agonists
  • GSK3
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson's disease
  • SH-SY5Y cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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