Clarissa Anna Pisanò

and 10 more

Background and purpose: Regulator of G-protein signal 4 (RGS4) is a signal transduction protein that accelerates intrinsic GTPase activity of Gαi/o and Gαq subunits, suppressing GPCR signaling. Here we investigate whether RGS4 modulates nociceptin/orphanin FQ opioid (NOP) receptor signaling and whether this modulation has relevance for L-Dopa induced dyskinesia. Experimental approach: HEK293T cells transfected with NOP, NOP/RGS4 or NOP/RGS19 were challenged with N/OFQ and the small molecule NOP agonist AT-403, using D1-stimulated cAMP levels as a readout. Primary rat striatal neurons and adult mouse striatal slices were challenged with N/OFQ or AT-403 in the presence of the RGS4 inhibitor, CCG-203920, and D1-stimulated cAMP or pERK responses were monitored. In vivo, CCG-203920 was co-administered with AT-403 and levodopa to 6-hydroxydopamine hemilesioned rats, and dyskinetic movements, striatal biochemical correlates of dyskinesia (pERK and pGluR1 levels) and striatal RGS4 levels were measured. Key results: RGS4 expression reduced NOFQ and AT-403 potency and efficacy in HEK293T cells. CCG-203920 increased N/OFQ potency in primary rat striatal neurons, and potentiated AT-403 response in mouse striatal slices. CCG-203920 enhanced AT-403 mediated inhibition of dyskinesia and its biochemical correlates, without compromising its motor-improving effects. Unilateral dopamine depletion caused bilateral reduction of RGS4 levels which was reversed by levodopa. Levodopa acutely upregulated RGS4 in the lesioned striatum. Conclusions and Implications: RGS4 physiologically inhibits NOP receptor signaling and an RGS4 inhibitor enhances NOP responses. Furthermore, an RGS4 inhibitor improved the antidyskinetic potential of NOP receptor agonists, mitigating the effects of upregulation of striatal RGS4 levels occurring during dyskinesia expression.