Effects of testosterone upon MPTP-induced neurotoxicity of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system of C57/B1 mice

Brain Res. 1996 Apr 9;715(1-2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)01566-3.


We have recently reported that treatment of gonadectomized female and male C57/B1 mice with the gonadal steroid hormone, estrogen, reduced nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurotoxicity resulting from the Parkinson's-like inducing agent 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). In the present report we examined whether the predominantly male gonadal steroid hormone, testosterone, would similarly modulate MPTP-induced neurotoxicity. Male C57/B1 mice were assigned to one of the following five treatment conditions: (1) Intact, (2) Orchidectomized, (3) Intact + MPTP, (4) Orchidectomized + Testosterone + MPTP and (5) Orchidectomized + MPTP. Corpus striatal and olfactory tubercle dopamine. DOPAC and norepinephrine concentrations were determined from the animals within each of the five treatment conditions. Orchidectomy alone failed to alter striatal dopamine and DOPAC concentrations, with levels obtained being similar to that of Intact animals. MPTP treatment significantly reduced striatal reduced striatal dopamine and DOPAC concentrations, regardless of hormonal condition of the animal. Similar results were obtained for olfactory tubercle determinations, with the exception that DOPAC levels from Orchidectomized mice were significantly greater than Intact males. No significant differences were obtained for norepinephrine within either brain area sampled. These results show that unlike estrogen, testosterone is devoid of any capacity to modulate nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurotoxicity resulting from MPTP. These findings may be related to the gender differences which exist in the prevalence of Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Catecholamines / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Dopamine Agents / toxicity*
  • Female
  • MPTP Poisoning*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neostriatum / drug effects
  • Neostriatum / metabolism
  • Neostriatum / pathology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Olfactory Bulb / drug effects
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Orchiectomy
  • Substantia Nigra / drug effects
  • Substantia Nigra / metabolism
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology*
  • Testosterone / pharmacology*


  • Catecholamines
  • Dopamine Agents
  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Testosterone
  • 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
  • Dopamine