2013 Volume 38 Issue 3 Pages 445-458
One of the toxicities caused by 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) is damage to dopaminergic neurons. When injected into C57BL/6J mice, MPTP penetrates into the brain and is converted to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) by monoamine oxidase (MAO)-B in astrocytes. MPP+ has high affinity for the dopamine transporter (DAT) on dopaminergic neurons, and is taken up into the cell to cause cell death. There have been relatively few researches on the acute MPTP toxicity to embryonic or newborn mice. In the present study, we attempted to evaluate the influence of MPTP and MPP+ on embryonic and newborn mice by measuring sequential changes in major indexes of MPTP toxicity and MPTP metabolism; levels of Tyrosine Hydroxylase (TH), DAT, MAO-A and MAO-B. In addition, we measured the levels of dopamine and its metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxy-phenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA), in the brain of newborn mice. A single injection of MPTP and MPP+ reduced the levels of dopamine and its metabolites, DOPAC and HVA, in the brain of newborn mice about 6-12 hr after the injection. Similarly the levels of mRNAs and proteins of DAT and TH were lowered in the brain of embryonic and newborn mice as well. The levels of these indexes were generally recovered at 24 hr after injection, indicating that the neurotoxicity induced by a single injection of MPTP or MPP+ is temporary and recoverable in embryonic and newborn mice. By contrast, no significant changes in the expression levels of MAO-A and MAO-B were observed in either MPTP- or MPP+-treated mice.