Dopamine and DOPA cause release of iron from ferritin and lipid peroxidation of liposomes

Neuroreport. 1999 Jun 23;10(9):1883-7. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199906230-00016.


We investigated dopamine (DA)- and DOPA-related release of iron from ferritin, and lipid peroxidation of liposomes induced by the released iron. Iron release increased with increasing DA or DOPA concentrations. Effects of SOD and an oxygen-reduced environment indicated that superoxide was partly responsible for iron release. The released iron induced lipid peroxidation at relatively low concentrations of DA or DOPA, while at high concentrations, peroxidation was inhibited. These findings indicate that the risk of lipid peroxidation depends on the DA/iron or DOPA/iron ratio even if the iron concentration is low. Our findings suggest that DA-containing neurons are always at risk of oxidative damage. Furthermore, DOPA therapy may modify the nigral degeneration by reducing or accelerating ferritin iron-dependent lipid peroxidation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / pharmacology*
  • Ferritins / metabolism*
  • Ferrozine / metabolism
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Liposomes / drug effects
  • Liposomes / metabolism
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects
  • Microsomes, Liver / enzymology
  • Oxygen / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Superoxide Dismutase / pharmacology


  • Liposomes
  • Ferrozine
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine
  • Ferritins
  • Iron
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Oxygen
  • Dopamine