Zonisamide (ZNS) is an effective drug for not only motor symptoms but also non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease. However, the actions of ZNS as an anti-Parkinsonian drug are not well understood. To clarify the actions of ZNS in vivo, we administered ZNS to mice and examined the effects on neurotransmitter metabolism and behaviors, focusing on motor and non-motor symptoms. Administration of ZNS decreased dopamine (DA) turnover in various brain regions, including the striatum. In behavioral tests, ZNS enhanced locomotor activity and novelty seeking in the open field test, light-dark transition test, and the social interaction test. Consistent with these results of DA metabolism in ZNS-treated mice, monoamine oxidase activity was significantly inhibited by ZNS in primary neurons and astrocytes. Collectively, these data suggest that ZNS inhibits monoamine oxidase activity and decreases DA turnover, which increases locomotor activity and novelty seeking in mice. ZNS is potentially useful to improve not only motor symptoms but also neuropsychiatric non-motor symptoms such as apathy in PD.
Uemura, M. T., Asano, T., Hikawa, R., Yamakado, H., & Takahashi, R. (2017). Zonisamide inhibits monoamine oxidase and enhances motor performance and social activity. Neuroscience Research, 124, 25–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neures.2017.05.008