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J Neurochem. 1992 May;58(5):1975-8.

1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium produces excitotoxic lesions in rat striatum as a result of impairment of oxidative metabolism.

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Neurochemistry Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


The effects of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) were studied in rat striatum. Using freeze-clamp, microwave, and water-suppressed proton chemical shift magnetic resonance imaging techniques, MPP+ resulted in marked increases in lactate and a depletion of ATP for up to 48 h after the injections. MPP+ produced dose-dependent depletions of dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and substance P that were partially blocked at 1 week by prior decortication or completely blocked by MK-801 at 24 h. The lesions showed relative sparing of somatostatin-neuropeptide Y neurons, consistent with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) excitotoxicity. MPP+ produces impairment of oxidative phosphorylation in vivo, which may result in membrane depolarization with persistent activation of NMDA receptors and excitotoxic neuronal degeneration. An impairment of energy metabolism may therefore underlie slow excitotoxic neuronal death in neurodegenerative diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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