Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 125, Issue 8, pp 1287–1297 | Cite as

Neuroinflammation in l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia: beyond the immune function

  • Augusta Pisanu
  • Laura Boi
  • Giovanna Mulas
  • Saturnino Spiga
  • Sandro Fenu
  • Anna R. Carta
Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Review Article


Neuroinflammation is a main component of Parkinson’s disease (PD) neuropathology, where unremitting reactive microglia and microglia-secreted soluble molecules such as cytokines, contribute to the neurodegenerative process as part of an aberrant immune reaction. Besides, pro-inflammatory cytokines, predominantly TNF-α, play an important neuromodulatory role in the healthy and diseased brain, being involved in neurotransmitter metabolism, synaptic scaling and brain plasticity. Recent preclinical studies have evidenced an exacerbated neuroinflammatory reaction in the striatum of parkinsonian rats that developed dyskinetic responses following l-DOPA administration. These findings prompted investigation of non-neuronal mechanisms of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia (LID) involving glial cells and glial-secreted soluble molecules. Hence, besides the classical mechanisms of LID that include abnormal corticostriatal neurotransmission and maladaptive changes in striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs), here we review studies supporting a role of striatal neuroinflammation in the development of LID, with a focus on microglia and the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α. Moreover, we discuss several mechanisms that have been involved in the development of LID, which are directly or indirectly under the control of TNF-α, and might be abnormally affected by its chronic overproduction and release by microglia in PD. It is proposed that TNF-α may contribute to the altered neuronal responses occurring in LID by targeting receptor trafficking and function in MSNs, but also dopamine synthesis in preserved dopaminergic terminals and serotonin metabolism in serotonergic neurons. Therapeutic approaches specifically targeting glial-secreted cytokines may represent a novel target for preventing or treating LID.


Cytokine Dyskinesia Inflammation Parkinson Microglia 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Augusta Pisanu
    • 1
  • Laura Boi
    • 2
  • Giovanna Mulas
    • 3
  • Saturnino Spiga
    • 3
  • Sandro Fenu
    • 2
  • Anna R. Carta
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Neuroscience, National Research CouncilCagliariItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly
  3. 3.Department of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

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