Riluzole Administration to Rats with Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia Leads to Loss of DNA Methylation in Neuronal Genes

Luca Pagliaroli, Abel Fothi, Ester Nespoli, Istvan Liko, Borbala Veto, Piroska Devay, Flora Szeri, Bastian Hengerer, Csaba Barta, Tamas Aranyi

Dyskinesias are characterized by abnormal repetitive involuntary movements due to dysfunctional neuronal activity. Although levodopa-induced dyskinesia, characterized by tic-like abnormal involuntary movements, has no clinical treatment for Parkinson’s disease patients, animal studies indicate that Riluzole, which interferes with glutamatergic neurotransmission, can improve the phenotype. The rat model of Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia is a unilateral lesion with 6-hydroxydopamine in the medial forebrain bundle, followed by the repeated administration of levodopa. The molecular pathomechanism of Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia is still not deciphered; however, the implication of epigenetic mechanisms was suggested. In this study, we investigated the striatum for DNA methylation alterations under chronic levodopa treatment with or without co-treatment with Riluzole. Our data show that the lesioned and contralateral striata have nearly identical DNA methylation profiles. Chronic levodopa and levodopa + Riluzole treatments led to DNA methylation loss, particularly outside of promoters, in gene bodies and CpG poor regions. We observed that several genes involved in the Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia underwent methylation changes. Furthermore, the Riluzole co-treatment, which improved the phenotype, pinpointed specific methylation targets, with a more than 20% methylation difference relative to levodopa treatment alone. These findings indicate potential new druggable targets for Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia.

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June, 2021


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