Brain research

Chronic neurochemical and behavioral changes in MPTP-lesioned C57BL/6 mice: a model for Parkinson's disease.

PMID 2271921


The long-term effect of the parkinsonism inducing neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) on pre- and postsynaptic structures of the nigrostriatal and mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system in adult C57BL/6 mice (2 x 40 mg/kg s.c.) was investigated using neurochemical and behavioral methods. It was found that MPTP induced a severe depletion of striatal DA levels (-80%) that persists for 4 weeks after treatment, with less severe effects in nucleus accumbens (-36%) and the olfactory tubercle (-52%). These depletions are associated with decreased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity as determined in vivo and increased turnover of DA. MPTP treatment did not induce any change in the DA2-receptor as determined by [3H]spiperone binding or by two different behavioral tests, i.e. apomorphine-induced climbing and apomorphine-induced stereotypies. No significant weight loss during 4 weeks after MPTP was found. The spontaneous motor activity in these mice was profoundly and persistently depressed (-66%) as a result of the MPTP-induced DA denervation and the motor deficit was completely reversed by L-DOPA treatment. We suggest that MPTP-treated C57BL/6 mice may serve as a suitable model for Parkinson's disease.

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