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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antidystonic efficacy of nitric oxide synthase inhibitors in a rodent model of primary paroxysmal dystonia.

In a hamster model (genetic symbol dt(sz)) of primary paroxysmal non-kinesiogenic dystonic choreoathetosis, recent studies have shown beneficial effects of glutamate and dopamine receptor antagonists. Nitric oxide (NO), synthesized from L-arginine by NO synthase in response to glutamate receptor activation, elicits cyclic GMP and modulates glutamate-mediated processes and striatal dopamine release. Therefore, the effects of NO synthase inhibitors and of L-arginine on severity of dystonia were investigated in dt(sz) hamsters in which dystonic attacks, characterized by twisting movements and postures, can be induced by stress. The NO synthase inhibitors N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and 7-nitroindazole significantly reduced the severity of dystonia. At antidystonic effective doses neither L-NNA nor L-NAME caused observable side effects, whereas 7-nitroindazole exerted moderate reduction of locomotor activity. The antidystonic effect of L-NAME was reversed by co-administration of the NO precursor L-arginine. However, L-arginine administered alone did not exert any effect on severity of dystonia. Cerebellar cyclic GMP levels in brains of mutant hamsters in comparison to non-dystonic control hamsters did not significantly differ, but the cerebellar cyclic GMP levels tended to be increased in dt(sz) hamsters during a dystonic attack. L-NAME significantly decreased the cerebellar cyclic GMP levels in both dt(sz) and control hamsters. Although an overproduction of NO is probably not critically involved in the pathogenesis of paroxysmal dystonia, it may contribute to the manifestation of dystonic attacks, as indicated by the antidystonic effects of NO synthase inhibitors. Peripheral side effects may limit the clinical use of NO synthase inhibitors, but more selective inhibitors of the neuronal NO synthase should be considered as interesting candidates for the treatment of paroxysmal dystonia.[1]


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