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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1987 Aug 1;256(2):638-50.

Manganese poisoning and the attack of trivalent manganese upon catecholamines.


Human manganese poisoning or manganism results in damage to the substantia nigra of the brain stem, a drop in the level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter dopamine, and symptoms resembling those of Parkinson's disease. Manganic (Mn3+) manganese ions were shown to be readily produced by O-2 in vitro and spontaneously under conditions obtainable in the human brain. Mn3+ as its pyrophosphate complex was shown to rapidly and efficiently carry out four-electron oxidations of dopamine, its precursor dopa (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine), and its biosynthetic products epinephrine and norepinephrine. Mn3+-pyrophosphate was shown to specifically attack dihydroxybenzene derivatives, but only those with adjacent hydroxyl groups. Further, the addition of Mn2+-pyrophosphate to a system containing a flux of O2- and dopamine greatly accelerated the oxidation of dopamine. The oxidation of dopamine by Mn3+ neither produced nor required O2, and Mn3+ was far more efficient than Mn2+, Mn4+ (MnO2), O2-, or H2O2 in oxidizing the catecholamines. A higher oxidation state, Mn(OH)3, formed spontaneously in an aqueous Mn(OH)2 precipitate and slowly darkened, presumably being oxidized to MnO2. Like reagent MnO2, it weakly catalyzed dopamine oxidation. However, both MnO2 preparations showed dramatically increased abilities to oxidize dopamine in the presence of pyrophosphate due to enhancement of the spontaneous formation of the Mn3+ complex. These results strongly suggest that the pathology of manganese neurotoxicity is dependent on the ease with which simple Mn3+ complexes are formed under physiological conditions and the efficiency with which they destroy catecholamines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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