Table of Contents
Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 407152, 9 pages
Research Article

Neuroprotection by Exendin-4 Is GLP-1 Receptor Specific but DA D3 Receptor Dependent, Causing Altered BrdU Incorporation in Subventricular Zone and Substantia Nigra

Department of Pharmacology, The School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK

Received 22 March 2013; Revised 28 June 2013; Accepted 7 July 2013

Academic Editor: Barbara Picconi

Copyright © 2013 A. Harkavyi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) activation by exendin-4 (EX-4) is effective in preclinical models of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and appears to promote neurogenesis even in severely lesioned rats. In the present study, we determined the effects of EX-4 on cellular BrdU incorporation in the rat subventricular zone (SVZ) and substantia nigra (SN). We also determined the specificity of this effect with the GLP-1R antagonist EX-(9-39) as well as the potential role of dopamine (DA) D3 receptors. Rats were administered 6-OHDA and 1 week later given EX-4 alone, with EX-(9-39) or nafadotride (D3 antagonist) and BrdU. Seven days later, rats were challenged with apomorphine to evaluate circling. Extracellular DA was measured using striatal microdialysis and subsequently tissue DA measured. Tyrosine hydroxylase and BrdU were verified using immunohistochemistry. Apomorphine circling was reversed by EX-4 in lesioned rats, an effect reduced by EX-4, while both EX-(9-39) and NAF attenuated this. 6-OHDA decreased extracellular and tissue DA, both reversed by EX-4 but again attenuated by EX-(9-39) or NAF. Analysis of BrdU+ cells in the SVZ revealed increases in 6-OHDA-treated rats which were reversed by EX-4 and antagonised by either EX-(9-39) or NAF, while in the SN the opposite profile was seen.