Modulation of nigral dopamine signaling mitigates parkinsonian signs of aging: evidence from intervention with calorie restriction or inhibition of dopamine uptake

Michael F. Salvatore, Ella A. Kasanga, D. Parker Kelley, Katy E. Venable, Tamara R. McInnis, Mark A. Cantu, Jennifer Terrebonne, Kathryn Lanza, Samantha M. Meadows, Ashley Centner, Christopher Bishop, Donald K. Ingram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Identifying neurobiological mechanisms of aging-related parkinsonism, and lifestyle interventions that mitigate them, remain critical knowledge gaps. No aging study, from rodent to human, has reported loss of any dopamine (DA) signaling marker near the magnitude associated with onset of parkinsonian signs in Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, in substantia nigra (SN), similar loss of DA signaling markers in PD or aging coincide with parkinsonian signs. Alleviation of these parkinsonian signs may be possible by interventions such as calorie restriction (CR), which augment DA signaling markers like tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression in the SN, but not striatum. Here, we interrogated respective contributions of nigral and striatal DA mechanisms to aging-related parkinsonian signs in aging (18 months old) rats in two studies: by the imposition of CR for 6 months, and inhibition of DA uptake within the SN or striatum by cannula-directed infusion of nomifensine. Parkinsonian signs were mitigated within 12 weeks after CR and maintained until 24 months old, commensurate with increased D1 receptor expression in the SN alone, and increased GDNF family receptor, GFR-α1, in the striatum, suggesting increased GDNF signaling. Nomifensine infusion into the SN or striatum selectively increased extracellular DA. However, only nigral infusion increased locomotor activity. These results indicate mechanisms that increase components of DA signaling in the SN alone mitigate parkinsonian signs in aging, and are modifiable by interventions, like CR, to offset parkinsonian signs, even at advanced age. Moreover, these results give evidence that changes in nigral DA signaling may modulate some parameters of locomotor activity autonomously from striatal DA signaling.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeroScience
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Bradykinesia
  • Caloric restriction
  • Dopamine receptor
  • Nigrostriatal
  • Parkinsonism
  • Tyrosine hydroxylase

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