L-DOPA reverses motor deficits associated with normal aging in mice
Behavior, Dopamine, Striatum
We wished to determine whether L-DOPA, a common treatment for the motor deficits in Parkinson's disease, could also reverse the motor deficits that occur during aging. We assessed motor performance in young (2-3 months) and old (20-21 months) male C57BL/6 mice using the challenge beam and cylinder tests. Prior to testing, mice were treated with L-DOPA or vehicle. Following testing, striatal tissue was analyzed for phenotypic markers of dopamine neurons: dopamine, dopamine transporter, and tyrosine hydroxylase. Although the dopaminergic markers were unchanged with age or L-DOPA treatment, L-DOPA reversed the motor deficits in the old animals such that their motor coordination was that of a young mice. These findings suggest that some of the locomotor deficits that accompany normal aging are responsive to L-DOPA treatment and may be due to subtle alterations in dopaminergic signaling. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Allen, E., Carlson, K., Zigmond, M., & Cavanaugh, J. (2011). L-DOPA reverses motor deficits associated with normal aging in mice. Neuroscience Letters, 489 (1), 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2010.11.054