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Selectivity of the parkinsonian neurotoxin MPTP: toxic metabolite MPP+ binds to neuromelanin.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Science (New York, N.Y.)
Publication Date
Volume
231
Issue
4741
Pages
987–989
Identifiers
PMID: 3080808
Source
Medline

Abstract

Methylphenyltetrahydropyridine (MPTP) selectively destroys neuronal cell bodies in the melanin-containing substantia nigra of humans and other primates. We show that methylphenylpyridine (MPP+), an active metabolite of MPTP which is accumulated intraneuronally by the catecholamine uptake system, binds with high affinity to melanin and neuromelanin. MPP+ bound intracellularly to neuromelanin may be released gradually, resulting in subsequent damage to the neurons of the substantia nigra.

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