In Vivo Neurochemical Analyses of Exogenously Administered L-DOPA: Implications for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Elizabeth D. Abercrombie
  • Michael J. Zigmond
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 39)


The fundamental therapeutic actions of L-DOPA in Parkinson’s disease are attributed to its ability to be taken up into the brain where it is converted to dopamine (DA) by the enzyme aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) (Birkmayer and Hornykiewicz, 1962; Lloyd et al., 1975; Melamed et al., 1984). Thus, it is believed that by replenishing the depleted stores of DA in the basal ganglia caused by the disease-related loss of DA neurons, the neurological deficits characteristic of Parkinson’s disease are ameliorated. However, although many insights regarding the therapeutic mechanism of action of L-DOPA in Parkinson’s disease have been gained, several important questions remain largely unresolved. Two of the issues which we have addressed in our laboratory are: 1) Is the release of DA formed from exogenous L-DOPA regulated in any way or does it merely reflect a non-specific spillover of DA from the site of formation? 2) Do the characteristics of the release of DA formed from exogenous L-DOPA in the intact striatum differ from those in the striatum lacking a normal dopaminergic innervation as in Parkinson’s disease?


Dopaminergic Neuron Intact Animal Uptake Site Dialysis Probe Dopaminergic Nerve Terminal 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth D. Abercrombie
    • 1
  • Michael J. Zigmond
    • 1
  1. 1.Depts. of Behavioral Neuroscience and PsychiatryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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