Diethyldithiocarbamate potentiates the neurotoxicity of in vivo 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and of in vitro 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium

J Neurochem. 1991 Aug;57(2):541-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1991.tb03784.x.


Diethyldithiocarbamic acid (DDC) potentiates in vivo neurotoxicity of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and in vitro neurotoxicity of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+). Male C57B1/6 mice were given two or five injections of MPTP (30 mg/kg i.p.) preceded 0.5 h by DDC (400 mg/kg i.p.). The mice were tested for catalepsy, akinesia, or motor activity during and after the period of dosing. Striatal and hippocampal tissues were obtained at 2 and 7 days following the last injection and evaluated for dopamine and norepinephrine levels, respectively. These same tissues were also analyzed for the levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an astrocyte-localized protein known to increase in response to neural injury. Pretreatment with DDC potentiated the effect of MPTP in striatum and resulted in substantially greater dopamine depletion, as well as a more pronounced elevation in GFAP. In hippocampus, the levels of norepinephrine and GFAP were not different from controls in mice receiving only MPTP, but pretreatment with DDC resulted in a sustained depletion of norepinephrine and an elevation of GFAP, suggesting that damage was extended to this brain area by the combined treatment. Mice receiving MPTP preceded by DDC also demonstrated a more profound, but reversible, catalepsy and akinesia compared to those receiving MPTP alone. Systemically administered MPP+ decreased heart norepinephrine, but did not alter the striatal levels of dopamine or GFAP, and pretreatment with DDC did not alter these effects, but did increase lethality. DDC is known to increase brain levels of MPP+ after MPTP, but our data indicate that this is not due to a movement of peripherally generated MPP+ into CNS.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Catalepsy / chemically induced
  • Catalepsy / physiopathology*
  • Cattle
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology
  • Ditiocarb / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Kinetics
  • MPTP Poisoning*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Nervous System / drug effects
  • Neurotoxins
  • Norepinephrine / metabolism


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Neurotoxins
  • Ditiocarb
  • 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine