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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 323686, 16 pages
Review Article

Imbalanced Dopaminergic Transmission Mediated by Serotonergic Neurons in L-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia

Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 33076 Bordeaux, France

Received 1 July 2011; Accepted 2 August 2011

Academic Editor: Anna Rosa Carta

Copyright © 2012 Sylvia Navailles and Philippe De Deurwaerdère. 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.


L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) are one of the main motor side effects of L-DOPA therapy in Parkinson's disease. The review will consider the biochemical evidence indicating that the serotonergic neurons are involved in the dopaminergic effects of L-DOPA in the brain. The consequences are an ectopic and aberrant release of dopamine that follows the serotonergic innervation of the brain. After mid- to long-term treatment with L-DOPA, the pattern of L-DOPA-induced dopamine release is modified. In several brain regions, its effect is dramatically reduced while, in the striatum, its effect is quite preserved. LIDs could appear when the dopaminergic effects of L-DOPA fall in brain areas such as the cortex, enhancing the subcortical impact of dopamine and promoting aberrant motor responses. The consideration of the serotonergic system in the core mechanism of action of L-DOPA opens an important reserve of possible strategies to limit LIDs.