(+)MK-801 prevents the DDC-induced enhancement of MPTP toxicity in mice

Francesca Vaglini, Flavia Fascetti, Francesco Fornai, Roberto Maggio, Giovanni U. Corsini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to reach deeper insight into the mechanism of diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC)-induced enhancement of MPTP toxicity in mice, MK-801, a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors, has been used as a tool to study the role of excitatory amino acids. In agreement with previous reports, (+)MK-801 did not significantly affect either striatal dopamine (DA) or tyrosine-hydroxylase (TH) activity in MPTP-treated animals. On the contrary (+)MK-801, but not (-)MK-801 significantly reduced the DDC + MPTP-induced fall in striatal DA and TH activity. A similar preventing effect on DA metabolites (DOPAC and HVA) and HVA/DA ratio was observed. The number of TH+Mneurons in the substantia nigra (SN) of (+)MK-801-pretreated mice was not significantly different from that of control animals, indicating that this treatment specifically antagonized the extensive DDC-induced lesion of dopaminergic cell bodies in this brain area. (+)MK-801 treatment did not affect the DDC-induced changes of striatal MPP+ levels, suggesting that the observed antagonism of MK-801 against DDC is not due to MPP+ kinetic modifications. Pretreatment with the MAO-B inhibitor, l-deprenyl, or with the DA uptake blocker, GBR 12909, completely prevented the marked DA depletion elicited by DDC + MPTP within the striatum. Both treatments also protected from the fall in DA metabolites and TH activity as well. This indicates that DDC-induced potentiation is dependent upon MPP+ production and its uptake by the dopaminergic nerve terminals. All these findings suggest that NMDA receptors play a crucial role in the DDC-induced enhancement of MPTP toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-203
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 30 1994


  • Diethyldithiocarbamate
  • MK-801
  • MPP
  • MPTP
  • NMDA-receptor
  • Parkinsonism
  • Substantia nigra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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