Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology : RTP

Dietary administration of diquat for 13 weeks does not result in a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of C57BL/6J mice.

PMID 26683030


Male and female C57BL/6J mice were administered diquat dibromide (DQ∙Br2) in their diets at concentrations of 0 (control), 12.5 and 62.5 ppm for 13 weeks to assess the potential effects of DQ on the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system. Achieved dose levels at 62.5 ppm were 6.4 and 7.6 mg DQ (ion)/kg bw/day for males and females, respectively. A separate group of mice was administered 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) ip as a positive control. The comparative effects of DQ and MPTP on the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) and/or striatum were assessed using neurochemical, neuropathological and stereological endpoints. Morphological and stereological assessments were performed by investigators who were "blinded" to dose group. DQ had no effect on striatal dopamine concentration or dopamine turnover. There was no evidence of neuronal degeneration, astrocytic or microglial activation, or a reduction in the number of tyrosine hydroxylase positive (TH(+)) neurons in the SNpc or neuronal processes in the striatum of DQ-treated mice. These results are consistent with the rapid clearance of DQ from the brain following a single dose of radiolabeled DQ. In contrast, MPTP-treated mice exhibited decreased striatal dopamine concentration, reduced numbers of TH(+) neurons in the SNpc, and neuropathological changes, including neuronal necrosis, as well as astrocytic and microglial activation in the striatum and SNpc.