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J Neural Transm Suppl. 1994;43:145-62.

Influence of N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, lipoic acid and L-deprenyl on the interplay between cellular redox systems.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Würzburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


For several years there is controversy concerning the toxic potency of reaction products catalyzed by monoamine oxidase in neurodegenerative processes. There is uncertainty whether products of catecholamine oxidation are pathogenetically relevant factors for neuronal cell death in Parkinson's disease. To date products responsible for impairment of biochemical functions essential for cell viability are not yet identified, and the primary site of damage within the cell is unknown. Ammonia, aldehydes and hydrogen peroxide are formed via monoamine oxidase catalyzed oxidations of primary amines. But which of them, if any, is damaging to the cell? We discuss some aspects of the oxidative stress theory of cell degeneration in relation to toxicity of N-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and to monoamine oxidation. Furthermore, we consider possible functional relationships of mitochondrial electron transfer reactions, toxicity of MPTP and MAO activity.

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