• MPTP;
  • 1-Methyl-4-(2′-methylphenyl)-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine;
  • Serotonin;
  • Norepinephrine;
  • Dopamine;
  • Neurotoxin

Abstract: Unlike 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), which produces consistent decreases in levels of striatal dopamine (DA) with considerably smaller and more variable effects on mouse brain levels of serotonin (5-HT) and norepinephrine (NE), a novel amine-substituted MPTP analogue, 1-methyl-4-(2′-aminophenyl)-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (2′-NH2-MPTP), administered in a standard mouse dosing paradigm for MPTP (20 mg/kg X 4) did not affect striatal DA but led to marked reductions (60–70%) in levels of 5-HT, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and NE measured in frontal cortex and hippocampus 1 week after treatment. Another 2′-substituted MPTP analogue, 1-methyl-4-(2′-methylphenyl)-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, affected cortical and hippocampal 5-HT, 5-HIAA, and NE only minimally, while markedly reducing the DA content in striatum (90%), thus indicating that the substituent (-NH2 versus -CH3) at the 2’position is important for the differential effects of these MPTP analogues. In a replication study with a 3-week end point, hippocampal and cortical 5-HT, 5-HIAA, and NE levels remained depressed with no indication of recovery. These results suggest that 2′-NH2-MPTP may be a novel, regionally selective neurotoxin for serotonergic and norad-renergic nerve terminals.