Age- and sex-differences in the nitric oxide synthase expression and dopamine concentration in the murine model of Parkinson's disease induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine.Brain Res. 2009 Mar 19; 1261:7-19.BR
Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age- and sex-related neurodegenerative disorder of unknown aetiology. The involvement of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in the etiopathogenesis of PD is quite well documented. We decided to examine changes in dopamine (DA) levels as well as iNOS, nNOS, eNOS mRNA and protein expression in the striatum of C57BL male and female (2- and 12-month old) mice in the course of PD-related neurodegeneration induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). The significantly decreased level of DA was previously observed in male than in female, irrespective of age. In young mice the recovery of DA was significantly greater in female compared to male mice. On the contrary, both in male and female old animals the low concentration of DA was extended up to 21 days post MPTP injection. The increases in iNOS protein expression post MPTP intoxication occurred more rapidly in male (young and old) than in female mice. The pattern of changes in iNOS protein expression was also different in young versus aged mice. nNOS protein expression increased earlier in young male than young female mice. No changes were observed in eNOS expression. In conclusion, our results support the hypothesis of the involvement of iNOS and nNOS, but not eNOS in neurodegenerative processes. Our findings suggest that age- and sex-differences in DA concentration and iNOS expression as well as sex-differences of nNOS expression after intoxication may depend on the increased susceptibility of males as well as older animals to toxic effect of MPTP and aggravated process of recovery in old brains.