University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

Pramipexole protects against MPTP toxicity in non-human primates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)1315-1321
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Journal publication dateMar 2006
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


The neurotoxin MPTP induces nigral dopaminergic cell death in primates and produces a partial model of Parkinson's disease (PD). Pramipexole is a D-2/D-3 dopamine receptor agonist used in the symptomatic treatment of PD, and which also protects neuronal cells against dopaminergic toxins in vitro. We now demonstrate that pramipexole partially prevents MPTP toxicity in vivo in a primate species. Common marmosets were repeatedly treated with pramipexole either before, coincidentally with, or after low-dose MPTP treatment designed to induce a partial lesion of the substantia nigra. Animals pretreated with pramipexole had a significantly greater number of surviving tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurones in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra. Pramipexole pretreatment also prevented degeneration of striatal dopamine terminals. Treatment with pramipexole concurrently with MPTP or following MPTP did not prevent TH-positive cell loss. Pramipexole pretreatment appears to induce adaptive changes that protect against dopaminergic cell loss in primates.

ID: 735296