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Neurosci Lett. 2005 Feb 28;375(2):107-11. Epub 2004 Nov 24.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor ablation in a chronic MPTP mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

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Behavioural Neurobiology Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, CH-8603 Schwerzenbach, Switzerland.


Recently, we demonstrated that mice deficient of the pro-inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were partly protected against 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) neurotoxicity. Here we extended the study and investigated TNF-alpha receptor 1 (-/-) (TNFR1) and TNF-alpha receptor 2 (-/-) (TNFR2) mice using a chronic MPTP dosing regimen (15 mg/kg MPTP on 8 consecutive days). One week after the last MPTP treatment, HPLC determination of striatal dopamine (DA) and immunostaining for the dopamine transporter (DAT) in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) was performed. MPTP treatment reduced striatal DA levels significantly; nigral DAT immunoreactivity was reduced to a lower extent. However, there was no difference in DA levels and the number of DAT positive neurons between TNFR1 (-/-), TNFR2 (-/-) and wild type mice after MPTP treatment. In contrast to TNF-alpha deficiency neither TNFR1 nor TNFR2 gene ablation showed protection against MPTP neurotoxicity, which argues for a protective mechanism of TNF-alpha not mediated by TNFR1 and TNFR2 signaling.

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