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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2005 May;112(5):613-31. Epub 2004 Oct 22.

Effects of riluzole on combined MPTP + 3-nitropropionic acid-induced mild to moderate striatonigral degeneration in mice.

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  • 1Physiologie et Physiopathologie de la Signalisation Cellulaire, UMR-CNRS 5543, Universit√© Victor Segalen-Bordeaux2, Bordeaux, France.


We investigated the potency of riluzole, an anti-glutamatergic drug, to affect ongoing neuronal death process following combined MPTP + 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP) intoxication producing combined striatal and nigral degeneration (SND) in mice. We used a "neuronal rescue" strategy by administering riluzole after the end of intoxication. The motor disorder, its recovery, behavioral performances at motor and sensorimotor integration tasks and histopathological outcome were compared in the saline and riluzole groups (10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg), matched by triplets for motor severity. While riluzole did not produce any effect on the gross motor disorder nor on rotarod task, open-field kinetic variables or on the traversing beam task, it had a subtle effect on the performances at the pole test. The histopathological outcome was significantly better in the riluzole-treated mice regarding both nigral and dorsolateral striatal cell loss and astroglial activation, with a dose-effect relationship. Thus, riluzole has limited "neuronal rescue" properties from an histopathological point of view with a subtle motor behavior improvement in a MPTP + 3-NP-induced SND in mice.

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