The central side effects of pentamethylmelamine (PMM), an antitumoral agent, were studied on brain neurotransmitters from the biochemical and behavioural points of view. PMM causes a dose-related reduction in the body temperature and motility of mice. 100 mg/kg of PMM lowers the levels of noradrenaline (NA) and raises 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethyleneglycol (MHPG) in the telencephalon. A similar dose increased striatal levels of dopamine (DA) metabolites, homovanillic acid (HVA) and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), at earlier times (30 min), reducing their levels at 2 hr. These effects disappear at longer times (4 hr). No changes were observed in the levels of 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT), the extraneuronal metabolite of DA. The serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5HIAA) was almost not affected. PMM and its metabolites do not displace [3H]-spiroperidol from mouse striatal binding sites. These data show that some of the neurological effects induced by PMM are associated with changes in the metabolism and/or release of brain catecholamines but are not mediated by direct action on DA receptors.
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