Volume 78 (1998) Issue 1 Pages 23-29
The planarian, a flatworm, has a high potential for regeneration, and dopamine plays a key role in its behavior. Planarians treated with MPTP underwent autolysis and individual death in a concentration-dependent manner. When the planarian body was cut into anterior, middle and posterior pieces, each piece subsequently regenerated and reorganized to form a new individual within approximately 10 days. The anterior piece was significantly more sensitive than the middle and posterior pieces to MPTP cytotoxicity. Concomitant treatment with talipexole, an anti-parkinsonian drug, inhibited MPTP-induced autolysis and individual death in a concentration-dependent manner. Pramipexole showed a similar protective effect. In addition, post-treatment with talipexole at 1 hr after MPTP completely inhibited MPTP-induced individual death. Although MPTP treatment caused 30% of the planarians to undergo autolysis and individual death within 12 hr, post-treatment with talipexole even at 12 hr completely rescued the remaining 70% of the planarians from death. These results suggest that the MPTP-treated planarian may be useful as a novel parkinsonian model in which talipexole has a protective effect even in the case of post-treatment.