Dyskinesias do not develop after chronic intermittent levodopa therapy in clinically hemiparkinsonian rhesus monkeys

Christopher A. Lieu, Milind Deogaonkar, Roy A.E. Bakay, Thyagarajan Subramanian

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17 Scopus citations


The stable 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced hemiparkinsonian (HP) rhesus monkey model of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been frequently used to test preclinical experimental therapeutics targeted to treat patients with advanced PD who suffer from motor fluctuations and drug-induced dyskinesias. We retrospectively analyzed data from 17 stable HP rhesus monkeys treated long-term with chronic intermittent dosing of levodopa (LD) in an attempt to induce choreoathetoid and dystonic dyskinesias. Rhesus monkeys in stable HP state for greater than 6 months as confirmed by multiple blinded behavioral ratings and 18F-dopa Positron Emission Tomography (PET) were treated with optimal doses of LD to provide maximal amelioration of unilateral clinical parkinsonism without any adverse effects. Thereafter, each animal was given chronic intermittent daily challenge with doses of LD up to 700 mg/day orally or with 300 mg/kg/day parenteral injections. LD treatments failed to induce choreoathetoid and dystonic dyskinesias in these animals despite chronic intermittent high dose administration. These results suggest that the stable strictly unilateral HP rhesus monkey model of PD may not be a suitable animal model to test experimental therapeutics targeted against dyskinesias, and that bilateral parkinsonian rhesus models that readily demonstrate drug-induced dyskinesias and clinically relevant motor fluctuations are more appropriate for preclinical experimental testing of therapies designed to treat patients with advanced PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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