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Acta Med Okayama. 2008 Jun;62(3):141-50.

Dopaminergic neuron-specific oxidative stress caused by dopamine itself.

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Department of Brain Science, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.


Oxidative stress, including the reactive oxygen or nitrogen species generated in the enzymatical oxidationor auto-oxidation of an excess amount of dopamine, is thought to play an important role in dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Dopamine and its metabolites containing 2 hydroxyl residues exert cytotoxicityin dopaminergic neuronal cells, primarily due to the generation of highly reactive dopamine and DOPA quinones. Dopamine and DOPA quinones may irreversibly alter protein function through the formation of 5-cysteinyl-catechols on the proteins. Furthermore, the quinone formation is closely linked to other representative hypotheses such as mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative stress, and dysfunction of the ubiquitin-proteasome system, in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, pathogenic effects of the dopamine quinone have recently focused on dopaminergicneuron-specific oxidative stress. In this article, we primarily review recent studies on the pathogenicity of quinone formation, in addition to several neuroprotective approaches against dopaminequinone-induced dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons.

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