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Brain Res. 1999 Aug 7;837(1-2):15-21.

Methamphetamine generates peroxynitrite and produces dopaminergic neurotoxicity in mice: protective effects of peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst.

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  • 1Neurochemistry Laboratory, Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration, 3900 NCTR Rd., Jefferson, AR 72079, USA.


Methamphetamine (METH)-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity is believed to be produced by oxidative stress and free radical generation. The present study was undertaken to investigate if METH generates peroxynitrite and produces dopaminergic neurotoxicity. We also investigated if this generation of peroxynitrite can be blocked by a selective peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst, 5, 10,15, 20-tetrakis(N-methyl-4'-pyridyl)porphyrinato iron III (FeTMPyP) and protect against METH-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Administration of METH resulted in the significant formation of 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), an in vivo marker of peroxynitrite generation, in the striatum and also caused a significant increase in the body temperature. METH injection also caused a significant decrease in the concentration of dopamine (DA), 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and homovanillic acid (HVA) by 76%, 53% and 40%, respectively, in the striatum compared with the control group. Treatment with FeTMPyP blocked the formation of 3-NT by 66% when compared with the METH group. FeTMPyP treatment also provided significant protection against the METH-induced hyperthermia and depletion of DA, DOPAC and HVA. Administration of FeTMPyP alone neither resulted in 3-NT formation nor had any significant effect on DA or its metabolite concentrations. These findings indicate that peroxynitrite plays a role in METH-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity and also suggests that peroxynitrite decomposition catalysts may be beneficial for the management of psychostimulant abuse.

Copyright 1999 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

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