• D2/D3 receptors;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • MPTP;
  • L-dopa;
  • dyskinesia


L-dopa remains the most common treatment for Parkinson's disease. However, there is considerable interest in D3/D2 receptor agonists such as the novel agent S32504, since they exert antiparkinsonian properties in the absence of dyskinesia. An important question concerns the roles of D2 vs. D3 receptors, an issue we addressed with the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)–lesioned nonhuman primate model of Parkinson's disease. In L-dopa–primed animals, S32504 (0.16–2.5 mg/kg p.o.) dose-dependently enhanced locomotor activity. This action was abolished by the D2 antagonist, L741,626 (2.5 mg/kg), but potentiated by the D3 antagonist, S33084 (0.63 mg/kg). Both antagonists were inactive alone. In drug-naive animals, a maximally effective dose of S32504 (2.5 mg/kg p.o.) displayed pronounced antiparkinsonian properties from the third day of administration, and its actions were expressed rapidly and durably. Thus, on day 33, antiparkinsonian properties of S32504 were apparent within 5 minutes and present for > 4 hours. Moreover, they were associated with neither wearing off nor significant dyskinesia. In conclusion, the novel D3/D2 agonist S32504 may offer advantages over L-dopa in the treatment of newly diagnosed parkinsonian patients. Its actions are expressed primarily by activation of D2, not D3, receptors. © 2006 Movement Disorder Society