Noradrenergic Modulation on Dopaminergic Neurons

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Abstract

It is now well accepted that there is a close relationship between noradrenergic and dopaminergic neurons in the brain, especially referring to the modulation of the locus coeruleus–norepinephrine (LC-NE) system on dopamine transmission. The disturbance of this modulation may contribute to neurodegeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s disease. In this article, we briefly review evidence related to such modulation. Firstly, we illustrated the noradrenergic innervation and functional implication for the LC-NE system and nigra–striatum dopaminergic system. Furthermore, we depicted neuroprotective effects of the LC-NE on dopaminergic neurons in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, we present data implicating the potential mechanisms underlying the modulation of the LC-NE system on dopaminergic neurons, in particular the effects of NE as a neurotrophic factor and through its ability to stimulate the expression of other neurotrophic factors, such as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Finally, we discussed other mechanisms intrinsic to NE’s effects. A better understanding of the noradrenergic modulation on dopaminergic neurons may be rewarding by significant advances in etiologic study and promising treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

Keywords

Locus coeruleus Norepinephrine Dopamine Neuroprotection Neurotrophic factor BDNF 

Abbreviations

ARs

Adrenergic receptors

BDNF

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor

DA

Dopamine

CREB

cAMP response element binding

DBH

Dopamine β-hydroxylase

DSP4

N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine hydrochloride

LC

Locus coeruleus

NE

Norepinephrine

NET

NE transporter

PD

Parkinson’s disease

SNpc

Substantia nigra pars compacta

TrkB

Tropomyosin receptor kinase B

VTA

Ventral tegmental area

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences, Quillen College of MedicineEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA

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