Neuronal ectopic expression of tyrosine hydroxylase in the mouse striatum by combined administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and 3-nitropropionic acid.Neuroscience. 2001; 108(4):601-10.N
1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) is a dopaminergic neurotoxin which inhibits mitochondrial complex I. 3-Nitropropionic acid (3-NPA) inhibits mitochondrial complex II and produces specific striatal lesions. In order to produce a combined striatal neuronal and dopaminergic afferent lesion, we administered both toxins simultaneously to the mouse. The combination brought about a lesion in the striatum that was not simply additive of the two combined toxins. Intriguingly, a group of striatal neurons became immunoreactive to tyrosine hydroxylase after day 1. Some of them were clearly visible up to the dendritic details. Immuno-electron microscopy indicated that the tyrosine hydroxylase-positive striatal neurons contained densely immunoreactive polyribosomes. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis indicated the up-regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA in the treated striatum. These neurons were also immunoreactive to aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase.We conclude that the combined administration of MPTP and 3-NPA caused a more profound damage to the nigro-striatal dopaminergic system, and thus some striatal neurons capable of up-regulating tyrosine hydroxylase were induced to produce dopamine, probably to compensate for the dopamine depletion.