In 3- and 18-month-old male Wistar rats, levels of dopamine (DA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), ascorbic acid (AA), dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA), noradrenaline (NA), uric acid, glutathione (GSH) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+) were determined by HPLC in the striatum and/or in the brainstem 24 h after single injections of MPTP (12-35 mg/kg i.p.). Aged rats had lower baseline levels of AA and GSH, compared to young rats. In aged rats, MPTP 35 mg/kg induced a 70% death rate and a decrease in striatal DOPAC/DA ratio which was significantly correlated to MPP+ concentrations (r = -0.840, P < 0.005); in addition, MPTP did not increase AA oxidation. In the brainstem, the MPTP-induced decrease in NA levels and increase in uric acid levels were significantly correlated to the MPP+ concentrations (r = -0.709, P < 0.05, and r = +0.888, P < 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, evidence is given of a mechanism of toxicity of MPTP involving oxidative stress produced by xanthine oxidase; in addition, in aged rats the neuronal antioxidant system (levels of AA and GSH) is considerably lower than in young rats and may play an enabling role in the MPTP age-related neurotoxic effects on striatum and brainstem.
Effects of ageing on 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) neurotoxic effects on striatum and brainstem in the rat / Desole, Maria Speranza; Esposito, G; Enrico, Paolo; Miele, M; Fresu, L; De Natale, G; Miele, E; Grella, G.. - In: NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS. - ISSN 0304-3940. - 159:1-2(1993), pp. 143-146.