Adenosine A2a receptor antagonists attenuate striatal adaptations following dopamine depletion

Jayms D. Peterson*, Joshua A. Goldberg, D. James Surmeier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) are widely thought to arise from an imbalance in the activity of the two major striatal efferent pathways following the loss of dopamine (DA) signaling. In striatopallidal, indirect pathway spiny projection neurons (iSPNs), intrinsic excitability rises following the loss of inhibitory D2 receptor signaling. Because these receptors are normally counterbalanced by adenosine A2a adenosine receptors, antagonists of these receptors are being examined as an adjunct to conventional pharmacological therapies. However, little is known about the effects of sustained A2a receptor antagonism on striatal adaptations in PD models. To address this issue, the A2a receptor antagonist SCH58261 was systemically administered to DA-depleted mice. After 5days of treatment, the effects of SCH58261 on iSPNs were examined in brain slices using electrophysiological and optical approaches. SCH58261 treatment did not prevent spine loss in iSPNs following depletion, but did significantly attenuate alterations in synaptic currents, spine morphology and dendritic excitability. In part, these effects were attributable to the ability of SCH58261 to blunt the effects of DA depletion on cholinergic interneurons, another striatal cell type that co-expresses A2a and D 2 receptors. Collectively, these results suggest that A2a receptor antagonism improves striatal function in PD models by attenuating iSPN adaptations to DA depletion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Karen Saporito and Sasha Ulrich for excellent technical assistance. Supported by Picower Foundation (D.J.S.), Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (J.D.P.).


  • A2a
  • Adenosine
  • Cholinergic interneuron
  • D
  • Dopamine
  • Medium spiny neuron
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Patch clamp
  • Spine
  • Striatopallidal
  • Two photon laser scanning microscopy


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