New tricks for an old dog: A repurposing approach of apomorphine.


Behavior and Basal Ganglia Research Unit (EA 4712), University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France; Institut des Neurosciences Cliniques de Rennes (INCR), Rennes, France. Electronic address: [Email]


Apomorphine is a 150-year old nonspecific dopaminergic agonist, currently indicated for treating motor fluctuations in Parkinson's disease. At the era of drug repurposing, its pleiotropic biological functions suggest other possible uses. To further explore new therapeutic and diagnostic applications, the available literature up to July 2018 was reviewed using the PubMed and Google Scholar databases. As many of the retrieved articles consisted of case reports and preclinical studies, we adopted a descriptive approach, tackling each area of research in turn, to give a broad overview of the potential of apomorphine. Apomorphine may play a role in neurological diseases like restless legs syndrome, Huntington's chorea, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and disorders of consciousness, but also in sexual disorders, neuroleptic malignant(-like) syndrome and cancer. Further work is needed in both basic and clinical research; current developments in novel delivery strategies and apomorphine derivatives are expected to open the way.


Apomorphine,Cancer,Neurodegenerative diseases,Neuroleptic malignant syndrome,Repurposing,Sexual disorders,