Acute and long term effects of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) in tests of nociception in mice

Pharmacol Toxicol. 1992 Jan;70(1):31-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0773.1992.tb00421.x.


Acute and long term changes in nociception after administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) 80 mg/kg (four injections of 20 mg/kg given at two hr intervals) were investigated in mice. MPTP caused shivering, lacrimation, salivation, teeth chattering and fur erection a few minutes after drug injection, but all these behavioural changes were normalized within 30 min., when the first behavioural testing was performed. No significant alteration in general behaviour, sensorimotor performance or body temperature could be detected at the time of nociceptive testing. The acute effects of MPTP on nociception were a reduced response latency in the tail flick test and a prolonged response latency compared to controls in the constant temperature hot plate test. No significant effects of MPTP were found in the increasing temperature hot plate test. The long term effects were a reduced response latency both in the tail flick test and the constant temperature hot plate test, indicating that the MPTP induced lesions of dopaminergic pathways result in hyperalgesia. In the increasing temperature hot plate test and the formalin test, no significant long term changes were demonstrated. Seven days after injection, the dopamine content was reduced to 62% of control values in striatum, to 51% in the rest of the forebrain, and to 41% in the spinal cord. Noradrenaline levels were only slightly and transiently reduced. Serotonin levels were not affected 7 days after injection, but 14 days after injection, a great increase was found in the forebrain and in the spinal cord. The results suggest that dopaminergic systems tonically inhibit nociception.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine / administration & dosage
  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement


  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine