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Brain Res. 1992 Oct 2;592(1-2):74-83.

Do NMDA receptor antagonists protect against MPTP-toxicity? Biochemical and immunocytochemical analyses in black mice.

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Klinikum Grosshadern, Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, M√ľnchen, FRG.


We investigated whether excitatory amino acids acting at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype of the L-glutamate receptor contribute to the dopaminergic neurotoxicity induced by systemic administration of the Parkinson's syndrome-inducing toxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in C57Bl/6 mice. The MPTP-regimen chosen (30-40 mg/kg body weight subcutaneously) resulted a 60-70% depletion of striatal dopamine (DA) content and a 20% reduction of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive (TH-IR) cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta 20 days after administration. Repeated systemic coadministration of the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 or of the novel competitive NMDA receptor antagonist CGP 40116 did not protect against MPTP-induced striatal DA depletion 20 days after toxin administration. Additionally, no short-term protective effects of MK-801 on striatal DA content were observed 24, 48, and 96 h, respectively, after exposure to MPTP. A slight and non-significant attenuation (approximately 10%) of the MPTP-induced decrease in the number of nigral TH-IR cells was observed after MK-801- and CGP 40116-treatment. We conclude that neurotoxicity of systemically administered MPTP is not substantially antagonized by NMDA receptor antagonists in mice.

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