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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 1997;104(4-5):317-28.

Glia protect fetal midbrain dopamine neurons in culture from L-DOPA toxicity through multiple mechanisms.

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Departamento de Investigación, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.


Mesencephalic glia produce soluble factors that protect dopamine neurons from L-DOPA toxicity. The chemical composition of these soluble factors is unknown. We investigated the protective effect against L-DOPA neurotoxicity in midbrain dopamine neurons of fractions of different molecular size of glia conditioned medium and candidate neuroprotective agents produced by glia including neurotrophic factors and antioxidants. Protective effects were evaluated according to the number of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive cells, high affinity dopamine uptake and levels of quinones. Both fractions of glia conditioned medium, smaller and larger than 10kD, protected against L-DOPA, but the fraction of smaller molecular size, that contains small free radical scanvenger molecules, was more effective than the fraction of larger molecular size, that contains large neurotrophic peptides. Among the neurotrophic factors GDNF and BDNF totally prevented L-DOPA neurotoxicity, while NGF and bFGF were less effective. However, only NGF significantly reduced the elevation of quinones induced by L-DOPA. Ascorbic acid, at the concentration found in glia conditioned medium, provided partial protective effect against L-DOPA toxicity. Glutathione, had neurotrophic effects on untreated midbrain dopamine neurons and prevented the effect of L-DOPA. In conclusion, the protective effect against L-DOPA neurotoxicity by glia conditioned medium is mediated by several compounds including neurotrophic factors and small antioxidants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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