The sodium-potassium ATPase inhibitor ouabain is neurotoxic in the rat substantia nigra and striatum

Neurosci Lett. 1995 Mar 24;188(2):113-6. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(95)11413-q.


Injection of ouabain, a potent and selective inhibitor of Na+/K+ ATPase, into the rat striatum and substantia nigra caused a selective neuronal loss in up to 70% of the lesioned area. However, there was a glial cell/macrophage proliferation in the core of the lesion. Neuronal loss was demonstrated by staining in vivo with Trypan Blue, a marker for dead cells. Cholinesterase staining was also lost, but in the striatum this was revealed only after pre-existing enzyme was irreversibly inhibited in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Cholinesterases / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects*
  • Corpus Striatum / pathology
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurotoxins / pharmacology*
  • Ouabain / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects*
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology
  • Trypan Blue


  • Neurotoxins
  • Ouabain
  • Cholinesterases
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase
  • Trypan Blue