Impaired regulation of dopamine has been shown to trigger psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and ADHD.
The hallmark symptom of Parkinson’s disease is hypokinesia, which is associated with the absence of striatal dopamine-secreting cells.
It is widely accepted in the academic community that dopamine is able to achieve motor control by modulating two neurons that promote and inhibit movement, respectively.
A recent study published in Nature found that the neurotransmitter adenosine can act as an antagonist of dopamine function, thus helping to maintain a balanced and stable nervous system.
Using a newly developed protein probe, the researchers clearly revealed for the first time that adenosine has an opposite effect to dopamine in this regulatory process.
Previously, almost all relevant drug research has focused on the regulation of dopamine or dopamine receptors, and based on this new mechanism, scientists are expected to develop new drug targets and find new pathways for drug development.