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Life Sci. 1992;50(25):PL233-7.

Inhibition of [3H]dopamine uptake into rat striatal slices by quaternary N-methylated nicotine metabolites.

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College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40536.


The effects of quaternary N-methylated nicotine derivatives were examined on in vitro uptake of [3H]dopamine ([3H]DA) in rat striatal slices. Striatal slices were incubated with a 10 microM concentration of the following compounds: N-methylnicotinium, N-methylnornicotinium, N-methylcotininium, N,N'-dimethylnicotinium and N'-methylnicotinium salts. The results clearly indicated that significant (60%) inhibition of [3H]DA uptake occurred with those compounds possessing a N-methylpyridinium group; whereas, compounds that were methylated at the N'-pyrrolidinium position were less effective or exhibited no inhibition of [3H]DA uptake. The results suggest that high concentrations of quaternary N-methylated nicotine metabolites which are structurally related to the neurotoxin MPP+, and which may be formed in the CNS, may protect against Parkinson's Disease and explain the inverse relationship between smoking and Parkinsonism reported in epidemiologic studies.

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