Indexed on: 02 Apr '13Published on: 02 Apr '13Published in: ACS Chemical Neuroscience
L-DOPA is currently one of the best medications for Parkinson's disease. It was assumed for several years that its benefits and side effects were related to the enhancement of dopamine release in the dopamine-depleted striatum. The use of intracerebral microdialysis combined with a pharmacological approach has led to the discovery that serotonergic neurons are responsible for dopamine release induced by L-DOPA. The subsequent use of multisite microdialysis has further revealed that L-DOPA-stimulated dopamine release is widespread and related to the serotonergic innervation. The present Review emphasizes the functional impact of extrastriatal release of dopamine induced by L-DOPA in both the therapeutic and side effects of L-DOPA.