(-)-Stepholidine (SPD), a natural product isolated from the Chinese herb Stephania, possesses dopamine (DA) D1 partial agonistic and D2 antagonistic properties in the nigrostriatal and mesocorticolimbic DAergic pathways. These unique dual effects have suggested that SPD can effectively restore previously imbalanced functional linkage between D1 and D2 receptors under schizophrenic conditions, in which, SPD improves both the negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia. SPD also relieves the motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease (PD) when co-administered with Levodopa. Furthermore, SPD exhibits neuroprotective effects through an antioxidative mechanism and slows down the progression of neuronal degeneration in the substantia nigra (SN) of PD patients and/or animal models. Therefore, SPD is a novel, natural compound with potentially therapeutic roles in the treatment of schizophrenia and/or PD.
Keywords: Stepholidine, dopamine D1 receptor, dopamine D2 receptor, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease
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