Dopamine D3 receptor-modulated neuroprotective effects of lisuride
Dopamine (DA) contributes to the regulation of voluntary movement, and a deficiency in DAergic neurons leads to movement disorders. The objective of this study was to examine the neuroprotective effect of DA D2-like receptor agonist, lisuride, and the role of DA receptors in this protection. Treatment with lisuride alleviated loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) both direct and intraperitoneal injection in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) mouse model. Similar results were obtained in primary neuronal cultures treated with lisuride. Lisuride protected TH expression against 6-OHDA-induced cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner. Then, we evaluated the role of DA D2 and D3 receptor in neuroprotective effect of lisuride. Treatment of neuronal cultures with L-741,626, a DA D2 receptor-selective antagonist, did not alter neuroprotective effect of lisuride. However, protective effect of lisuride on TH expression was abolished when cells were treated with GR103691, a D3 receptor selective antagonist. Furthermore, whether lisuride can alleviate mitochondrial damage of DAergic neurons induced by 6-OHDA, we investigated the expression of the mitochondrial regulatory protein, paraplegin, and changes in mitochondria morphology. Treatment with lisuride countered a 6-OHDA-induced reduction in paraplegin and TH expression, and co-treatment with GR103691 blocked this effect of lisuride. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed the lisuride mitigation of 6-OHDA-induced damage to the mitochondrial membrane and cristae. These results suggest that the DA D3 receptor mediates the neuroprotective effects of lisuride by preventing mitochondrial damage.