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Synapse. 2016 Feb;70(2):52-6. doi: 10.1002/syn.21876. Epub 2015 Dec 4.

Early prenatal exposure to MPTP does not affect nigrostrial neurons in macaque monkey.

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Université De Bordeaux, Institut Des Maladies Neurodégénératives, Bordeaux, UMR 5293, France.
Institut Des Maladies Neurodégénératives, CNRS, Bordeaux, UMR 5293, France.
Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Science and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.
Motac Neuroscience, Manchester, UK.


The discovery of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), a toxin that induces parkinsonism in both human and primate, has prompted the search for environmental toxins potentially responsible for idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). The present study reports the ultimate effects of MPTP intoxication of a female macaque monkey, which unraveled to be pregnant after parkinsonism had developed, upon its fetus. Detailed examination of the offpsring nigrostriatal pathway showed that tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in caudate-putamen nuclei and substantia nigra compacta (SNc) was not different from an age-matched control. Biochemical analysis of the tissue content of dopaminergic markers further suggested modification of metabolism in the MPTP-exposed monkey. These data suggest that early prenatal intoxication does not destroy nigrostriatal neurons, most likely because dopamine neurons had not developed yet when exposed to MPTP.


MPTP; Rhesus monkey; high-performance liquid chromatography; immunohistochemistry; in utero; neurodegeneration

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