Herbicides, including paraquat, may produce neurodegenerative effect when given both peripherally and into the brain though the pathophysiological mechanism is still unknown. Microinfusion of paraquat into the Substantia Nigra (50 μg) produced increased motor activity, jumping and circling opposite to the injection site, associated with ECoG desynchronization, high voltage epileptogenic spikes, and with neuropathological effects. These effects were accompanied by increase of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in the Substantia Nigra, suggesting that paraquat was able to induce oxidative stress when injected directly into the rat brain. Pre-treatment of rats with M40401, a non peptidyl superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic given directly into the Substantia Nigra or i.p. prevented both behavioural, electrocorticogram and neuropathological effects and MDA elevation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that paraquat produces brain damage via abnormal formation of oxygen free radicals and that this effect may be counteracted by novel SOD mimetics.
- Reactive oxygen species
- Superoxide dismutase mimetics
ASJC Scopus subject areas