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Neuropharmacology. 2006 Dec;51(7-8):1137-45. Epub 2006 Aug 28.

Acute administration of 3-nitropropionic acid, a reactive oxygen species generator, boosts ethanol-induced locomotor stimulation. New support for the role of brain catalase in the behavioural effects of ethanol.

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  • 1Area de Psicobiologia, Universitat Jaume I, Castell√≥, Spain.


The antioxidant enzyme catalase by reacting with H(2)O(2), forms the compound known as compound I (catalase-H(2)O(2)). This compound is able to oxidise ethanol to acetaldehyde in the CNS. It has been demonstrated that 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NPA) induces the activity of the brain catalase-H(2)O(2) system. In this study, we tested the effect of 3-NPA on both the brain catalase-H(2)O(2) system and on the acute locomotor effect of ethanol. To find the optimal interval for the 3-NPA-ethanol interaction mice were treated with 3-NPA 0, 45, 90 and 135min before an ethanol injection (2.4mg/kg). In a second study, 3-NPA (0, 15, 30 or 45mg/kg) was administered SC to animals 90min before saline or several doses of ethanol (1.6 or 2.4g/kg), and the open-field behaviour was registered. The specificity of the effect of 3-NPA (45mg/kg) was evaluated on caffeine (10mg/kg IP) and cocaine (4mg/kg)-induced locomotion. The prevention of 3-NPA effects on both ethanol-induced locomotion and brain catalase activity by L-carnitine, a potent antioxidant, was also studied. Nitropropionic acid boosted ethanol-induced locomotion and brain catalase activity after 90min. The effect of 3-NPA was prevented by l-carnitine administration. These results indicate that 3-NPA enhanced ethanol-induced locomotion by increasing the activity of the brain catalase system.

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