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Neurotox Res. 2001 Nov;3(6):537-43.

Acute exposure to organochlorine pesticides does not affect striatal dopamine in mice.

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  • 1The Parkinson's Institute, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, USA.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible association between the risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD) and exposure to organochlorine pesticides in the mouse model. Animals were treated with a single subcutaneous injection of either dieldrin (40 and 80 mg/kg) or 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (100 and 200 mg/kg, 2,4-D) and levels of dopamine (DA) and DA metabolites were measured in the striatum at the 7-day time point. Dieldrin exposure did not affect the striatal concentrations of DA, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA). Administration of 2,4-D did not produce any changes with the exception of a slight (15%), but statistically significant decrease in DOPAC using the higher dose of the pesticide. No neurochemical signs of dopaminergic injury were found following the combined treatment with either dieldrin or 2,4-D plus diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC), a compound known to potentiate the effects of the dopaminergic toxicant 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Furthermore, neither dieldrin nor 2,4-D caused additional damage in animals previously lesioned with MPTP. Data failed to support the hypothesis that acute exposure to organochlorine compounds or synergistic interactions involving these pesticides may cause significant damage to dopaminergic terminals and therefore contribute to nigrostriatal degeneration in PD.

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