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

Chronic blockade of muscarinic cholinergic receptors by systemic trihexyphenidyl (Artane) administration modulates but does not mediate the dopaminergic regulation of striatal prepropeptide messenger RNA expression.

A striatal dopaminergic denervation leads to changes in the expression of messenger RNA encoding prepropeptides contained in striatal efferent neurons. Such a dopaminergic lesion also abolishes a functional equilibrium between dopaminergic and cholinergic transmissions, generally believed to operate within the neostriatum, which constitutes the theoretical basis for the clinical use of antimuscarinic drugs in extrapyramidal diseases. It is possible, therefore, that changes in prepropeptide messenger RNA expression are mediated by an alteration in cholinergic transmission. To test this hypothesis, we have examined in rats whether trihexyphenidyl, an antimuscarinic drug of wide clinical use, can counteract the changes in preproenkephalin, preprotachykinin and preprodynorphin messenger RNA expression produced by a unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesion of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons. Two weeks after the lesion, trihexyphenidyl was continuously administered through an osmotic minipump (5 mg/day for 15 days) to half of the lesioned and sham-operated rats, the other half receiving the vehicle. Using quantitative in situ hybridization histochemistry, messenger RNAs were analysed at two rostrocaudal levels (anterior and central) of the neostriatum. In parallel, M1 muscarinic receptors were measured by autoradiography of [3H]pirenzepine binding sites. In sham-operated rats, trihexyphenidyl administration produced a significant increase (17-27%) in M1 binding sites. In addition, preproenkephalin messenger RNA levels were decreased (-38%) in the central part, while preprodynorphin messenger RNA levels were significantly increased (+22%) at both striatal levels. In 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned rats, the expected changes in messenger RNAs were observed when ipsi- versus contralateral side values were compared, but changes were not always detected when comparison was established between values from the dopamine-denervated neostriatum and those from sham-operated rats. The trihexyphenidyl administration in 6-hydroxydopamine-lesioned animals was unable to reproduce the up-regulation of M1 receptors, even in the intact neostriatum. This antimuscarinic treatment further increased preproenkephalin messenger RNA levels in the denervated anterior neostriatum, amplifying the ipsi- versus contralateral difference. It also potentiated the imbalance in preprotachykinin messenger RNA expression, mainly as a result of an increase of preprotachykinin messenger RNA levels in the intact neostriatum. In contrast, trihexyphenidyl treatment by increasing preprodynorphin messenger RNA in both neostriata abolished the ipsi- versus contralateral difference observed in lesioned rats. In conclusion, with the exception of preprodynorphin messenger RNA, trihexyphenidyl treatment was unable to counteract the imbalance in prepropeptide messenger RNA expression produced by a unilateral striatal dopaminergic denervation and even amplified this effect. These results question the neostriatum as the site of action of antimuscarinic drugs in producing their therapeutic effect in extrapyramidal syndromes.[1]


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