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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1986 Jan 29;134(2):743-8.

Uptake of the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP+) by mitochondria and its relation to the inhibition of the mitochondrial oxidation of NAD+-linked substrates by MPP+.


1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP+), a major product of the oxidation of the neurotoxic amine 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) has been postulated to be the compound responsible for destruction of nigrostriatal neurons in man and primates and for inhibition of mitochondrial NADH oxidation which leads to cell death. We have confirmed that 0.5 mM MPP+ inhibits extensively the oxidation of NAD+-linked substrates in intact liver mitochondria in State 3 and after uncoupling, while succinate oxidation is unaffected. However, in inverted mitochondria, inner membrane preparations, and Complex I NADH oxidation is not significantly affected at this concentration of MPP+, nor are malate and glutamate dehydrogenases or the carriers of these substrates inhibited. We report here the discovery of an uptake system for MPP+ in mitochondria which is greatly potentiated by the presence of malate plus glutamate and inhibited by respiratory inhibitors, suggesting an energy-dependent carrier. A 40-fold concentration of MPP+ in the mitochondria occurs in ten minutes. This might account for the inhibition of malate and glutamate oxidation in intact mitochondria.

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