Both estrogen (E2) and nitric oxide (NO) have been shown to affect motor function, in part, through regulation of dopamine (DA) release, transporter function, and the elicitation of neuroprotection/neurodegeneration of healthy neurons, as well as in neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD). Currently, the “gold standard” treatment for PD is the use of levodopa (l-DOPA). However, patients who experience long-term l-DOPA and a monamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) treatment may develop unwanted side effects such as hyperkinesia which can be exacerbated by female Parkinsonian patients also on E2 replacement therapy. The current study was designed to determine whether embryonic zebrafish treated with either E2 or l-DOPA/MAOI develop a de novo-induced hyperkinetic movement disorder that relies on the NO pathway to elicit this hyperkinetic phenotype. Results from this study indicate that 5 days post-fertilization (dpf), fish treated with an l-DOPA + MAOI co-treatment or E2 elicited the development of a de novo hyperkinetic phenotype. In addition, the de novo l-DOPA + MAOI- and E2-induced hyperkinetic phenotypes are dependent on NO and E2 for its initiation and recovery. In conclusion, these findings point to the central role both NO and E2 play in the facilitation of de novo hyperkinesia.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Zebrafish Researches