Desole, Maria Speranza and Esposito, Giovanni and Enrico, Paolo and Miele, Maddalena and Fresu, Luigia Grazia and De Natale, Guglielmo and Miele, Egidio and Grella, Giuseppe Enrico (1993) Effects of ageing on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) neurotoxic effects on striatum and brainstem in the rat. Neuroscience Letters, Vol. 159 (1-2), p. 143-146. ISSN 0304-3940. Article.
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In 3- and 18-month-old male Wistar rats, levels of dopamine (DA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), ascorbic acid (AA), dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA), noradrenaline (NA), uric acid, glutathione (GSH) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+) were determined by HPLC in the striatum and/or in the brainstem 24 h after single injections of MPTP (12–35 mg/kg i.p.). Aged rats had lower baseline levels of AA and GSH, compared to young rats. In aged rats, MPTP 35 mg/kg induced a 70% death rate and a decrease in striatal DOPAC/DA ratio which was correlated to MPP+ concentrations (r = −0.840, P < 0.005); in addition, MPTP did not increase AA oxidation. In the brainstem, the MPTP-induced decrease in NA levels and increase in uric acid levels were significantly correlated to the MPP+ concentrations (r = −0.709, P < 0.05, and r = +0.888, P < 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, evidence is given of a mechanism of toxicity of MPTP involving oxidative stress produced by xanthine oxidase; in addition, in aged rats the neuronal antioxidant system (levels of AA and GSH) is considerably lower than in young rats and may play an enabling role in the MPTP age-related neurotoxic effects on striatum and brainstem.
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