In cynomologus monkeys, systemic administration of MK-801, a noncompetitive antagonist for the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, prevented the development of the parkinsonian syndrome induced by the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). MK-801 also attenuated dopamine depletion in the caudate and putamen and protected dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra from the degeneration induced by the neurotoxin. Nevertheless, 7 days after MPTP administration in the caudate and putamen of monkeys also receiving MK-801, the levels of toxic 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium were even higher than those measured in monkeys receiving MPTP alone. This indicates that the protective action of MK-801 is not related to MPTP metabolism and strongly suggests that, in primates, the excitatory amino acids could play a crucial role in the mechanism of the selective neuronal death induced by MPTP.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Neurochemistry|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1992|
- Excitatory amino acids
- Substantia nigra degeneration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience