Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res. 1990 Sep 10;527(1):21-31.

MPTP produces reversible disappearance of tyrosine hydroxylase-containing retinal amacrine cells.

Author information

Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Ont., Canada.


To determine whether 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) alters the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity of murine dopaminergic retinal amacrine cells, 8-10-week-old C57BL/6J mice were treated with i.p. with saline or cumulative doses of MPTP ranging from 10 to 300 mg/kg. Paraformaldehyde-fixed retinal whole mounts and cross sections were examined using immunochemistry with a tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) or a choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) polyclonal antibody and an avidin-biotin peroxidase reaction. Both TH+ amacrines and ChAT+ retinal neurons showed somal and process morphology and distributions that were commensurate with previous studies of the same or several related species. At 20 days following the MPTP treatment, there was a loss of TH+ amacrines according to a logarithmic relationship relative to MPTP dosage. The loss ranged from 18 to 87% for the dosage range without any decrease in the numbers of ChAT+ neurons. The TH+ amacrines were deleted randomly from the retinas without any peripheral-central predilection. By 273 days after MPTP treatment, the number of TH+ amacrines had returned to values found for age-matched controls demonstrating that the loss of TH immunoreactivity was reversible and occurred without destruction of TH+ amacrines. Computer densitometry revealed that the MPTP-treated TH+ amacrines were divided into two distinct populations: one with normal TH immunodensity levels and a second with TH immunodensity levels below our detection capability. Increasing the MPTP dosage increased the proportion of TH amacrines in the second population. The transient and completely reversible disappearance in the number of TH+ amacrines: (1) appears to form the basis for the decreased concentrations of dopamine and the loss of catecholamine fluorescent neurons previously described for MPTP-treated mouse retinae; (2) may underlie the defects in the electroretinograms of MPTP-treated monkeys, and (3) may result as a response to neurite damage similarly to the alterations in protein synthesis in other central neurons following axonal damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center