MK-801 prevents 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-induced parkinsonism in primates

Alessandro Zuddas, Germano Oberto, Francesca Vaglini, Flavia Fascetti, Francesco Fornai, Giovanni U. Corsini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-739
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1992


  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
  • 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium
  • Dopamine
  • Excitatory amino acids
  • MK-801
  • Parkinsonism
  • Substantia nigra degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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