Manganese neurotoxicity: a model for free radical mediated neurodegeneration?

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1982 Nov;60(11):1398-405. doi: 10.1139/y82-208.


In man, manganese neurointoxication is characterised in the early phase by behavior reminiscent of that observed in schizophrenia. During chronic manganese intoxication the neuropsychiatric symptoms manifested earlier disappear and are followed by a permanent neurological phase typified by extrapyramidal symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease. Study of manganese intoxication in animals may provide important clues towards elucidation of the biochemical defect underlying neuropsychiatric as well as extrapyramidal disease. Investigations in our laboratory suggest that neurotoxicity of manganese is an exaggeration of function in normal neuronal homeostasis. Manganese neurointoxication in neonatal rats resulted in significant depression of lipid peroxidation in several rat brain regions examined. In the striatum, lipid peroxidative activity was abolished, an effect which may be related to alteration in neurotransmitters often observed in the striatum of manganese treated rats. The chronic, extrapyramidal stage of manganism, may ensue when excess Mn2+ is oxidised to higher valency forms where it can potentiate the autoxidation of catecholamines, like dopamine, resulting in concomitant formation of free radicals and cytotoxic quinones. This latter effect may arise preferentially in the substantia nigra, where neuromelanin is formed nonenzymatically by autoxidation of dopamine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Free Radicals*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxides / metabolism
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Manganese Poisoning*
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Free Radicals
  • Lipid Peroxides
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Malondialdehyde