Effects of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and several of its analogues on the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway in mice

R E Heikkila, L Manzino, F S Cabbat, R C Duvoisin
Neuroscience Letters 1985 July 4, 58 (1): 133-7
1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), a recently discovered neurotoxin, caused extensive losses of dopamine and its major metabolites after its administration to male Swiss-Webster mice. In contrast, under identical conditions, several MPTP analogues, even those with relatively minor structural changes, were without toxicity. These include compounds with a 1-ethyl and 1-propyl substituent rather than the 1-methyl, the compound lacking the double bond in the tetrahydropyridine ring, as well as the compound with no phenyl substituent. It follows that each part of the MPTP molecule is important in determining its neurotoxic activity.

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