Distinct Effects of Intranigral L-DOPA Infusion in the MPTP Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Angela B. Reksidler
  • Marcelo M. S. LimaEmail author
  • Patrícia A. Dombrowski
  • Gabriela F. Barnabé
  • Monica L. Andersen
  • Sergio Tufik
  • Maria A. B. F. Vital
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa book series (NEURALTRANS, volume 73)


The potential neuroprotective or neurotoxic effects of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) are yet to be understood. We examined the behavioral, immunohistochemical, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression and neurochemical parameters after an intranigral administration of L-DOPA (10 μM) in rats.. L-DOPA elicited a 30.5% reduction in dopaminergic neurons, while 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) (100 μg μL−1) produced a 53.6% reduction. A combined infusion of MPTP and L-DOPA generated a 42% reduction of nigral neurons. Motor parameters revealed that both the MPTP and L-DOPA groups presented impairments; however, the concomitant administration evoked a partial restorative effect. In addition, MPTP and L-DOPA separately induced reductions of TH protein expression within the substantia nigra. In contrast, the coadministration of MPTP and L-DOPA did not demonstrate such difference. The striatal levels of dopamine were reduced after MPTP or L-DOPA, with an increased turnover only for the MPTP group. In view of such results, it seems reasonable to suggest that L-DOPA could potentially produce dopaminergic neurotoxicity.


Animal model L-DOPA MPTP Neurotoxicity Parkinson’s disease Tyrosine hydroxylase 









Parkinson’s disease


Substantia nigra


Substantia nigra pars compacta


Tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactive



This work was supported by AFIP, FAPESP, and CAPES (PRODOC-Farmacologia UFSC to MMSL). The authors thank Mr. Adriano Zager and Mrs. Marilde Aires Costa for the technical assistance and Dr. Cláudio da Cunha for the HPLC analyses. MLA, ST, and MABFV are recipients of CNPq fellowships.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien Printed in Germany 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela B. Reksidler
    • 1
  • Marcelo M. S. Lima
    • 2
    Email author
  • Patrícia A. Dombrowski
    • 1
  • Gabriela F. Barnabé
    • 4
  • Monica L. Andersen
    • 3
  • Sergio Tufik
    • 3
  • Maria A. B. F. Vital
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de FarmacologiaUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrasil
  2. 2.Departamento de FarmacologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaSanta CatarinaBrasil
  3. 3.Departamento de PsicobiologiaUniversidade Federal de São PauloSão PauloBrasil
  4. 4.Departamento de NeurofisiologiaUniversidade Federal de São PauloSão PauloBrasil

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