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Neurosci Lett. 1988 Jul 19;90(1-2):57-62.

Immunohistochemical evaluation of the neurotoxic effects of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) on dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons of young adult mice using dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase antibodies.

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Department of Anatomy, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


The recovery of dopamine (DA) neurons in young adult mice from 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) damage was analyzed at various times after MPTP treatment with DA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunohistochemistry and also by chemical DA assay. A remarkable discrepancy in the recovery rate of DA and TH reactivities of the nigral neurons was observed: the TH immunoreactivities of both cell bodies in the substantia nigra and terminals in the neostriatum were markedly reduced 4 days after MPTP. However, these reactivities progressively improved and almost fully recovered after 25 days, while the DA immunoreactivities were maximally depleted 10 days after, and the depletion continued even through the 25th day. The alteration of DA levels was correlated with that of DA immunoreactivity. These findings suggest that a major effect of MPTP on the DA neurons of young adult mice is a transient neurotoxicity, and that the TH content improves more promptly than that of DA.

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