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Neurosci Lett. 1995 Mar 24;188(2):113-6.

The sodium-potassium ATPase inhibitor ouabain is neurotoxic in the rat substantia nigra and striatum.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Injection of ouabain, a potent and selective inhibitor of Na+/K+ ATPase, into the rat striatum and substantia nigra caused a selective neuronal loss in up to 70% of the lesioned area. However, there was a glial cell/macrophage proliferation in the core of the lesion. Neuronal loss was demonstrated by staining in vivo with Trypan Blue, a marker for dead cells. Cholinesterase staining was also lost, but in the striatum this was revealed only after pre-existing enzyme was irreversibly inhibited in vivo.

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