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In animals, sporadic injections of the mitochondrial toxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) selectively damage dopaminergic neurons but do not fully reproduce the features of human Parkinson's disease. We have now developed a mouse Parkinson's disease model that is based on continuous MPTP administration with an osmotic minipump and(More)
In recent years several clinical and research findings have demonstrated the involvement of the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders which are known as synucleinopathies. Although the function of this protein in the physiology of the cell remains unknown, it is evident that both genetic alterations or a mere(More)
Seizures represent the most common neurological emergency in ecstasy abusers; however, no study addressed whether (+/-) 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy") per se might produce long-lasting alterations in brain excitability related to a pro-convulsant effect. C57 Black mice were treated with three regimens of (+/-)(More)
Mutation of genes encoding for various components of a metabolic pathway named the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UP) leads to inherited forms of Parkinson's disease (PD), whereas various components of the UP are constantly present within neuronal inclusions, Lewy bodies, that characterize most genetic and sporadic forms of PD. It has been hypothesized that(More)
RATIONALE 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is an amphetamine derivative, which is neurotoxic to both serotonin (5HT) and dopamine (DA) nerve terminals. Previous reports, carried out in rodents and non-human primates, demonstrated neurotoxicity to monoamine axon terminals, although no study has analyzed nigral and striatal cell bodies at the(More)
Methamphetamine causes nigrostriatal denervation and striatal dopamine loss, while sparing nigral cell bodies. Nigral dopamine neurons feature autophagic vacuoles and cytoplasmic alpha-synuclein-, ubiquitin- and parkin-positive inclusion-like bodies. On that basis, autophagy was considered essential in methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity, but its(More)
The neurotoxicity of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) has been intensely investigated due to the widespread abuse of this drug and its neurotoxic effects. In mice, MDMA neurotoxicity has been demonstrated for striatal dopamine (DA) terminals. However, the current literature has reported great variability in the effects induced by MDMA; this(More)
The present study explores whether effects induced by amphetamine derivatives on striatal GABA cells might be connected with effects on dopamine (DA) metabolism. Methamphetamine (METH) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, "ecstasy") were administered to C57Black mice following a dosage regimen in which various doses of both drugs were injected i.p.(More)
The effects of several alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonists and antagonists were examined on the cholinergic twitch contractions evoked by electrical field stimulation of guinea-pig duodenum. Oxymetazoline, xylazine, noradrenaline, alpha-methyl-noradrenaline or medetomidine (0.01-30 microM) were nearly equieffective in inhibiting duodenal twitch responses. The(More)
Mice treated with the psychostimulant methamphetamine (MA) showed the appearance of intracellular inclusions in the nucleus of medium sized striatal neurones and cytoplasm of neurones of the substantia nigra pars compacta but not in the frontal cortex. All inclusions contained ubiquitin, the ubiquitin activating enzyme (E1), the ubiquitin protein ligase(More)