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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dopaminergic cell death induced by MPP(+), oxidant and specific neurotoxicants shares the common molecular mechanism.

Recent etiological study in twins (Tanner et al. 1999) strongly suggests that environmental factors play an important role in typical, non-familial Parkinson's disease (PD), beginning after age 50. Epidemiological risk factor analyses of typical PD cases have identified several neurotoxicants, including MPP(+) (the active metabolite of MPTP), paraquat, dieldrin, manganese and salsolinol. Here, we tested the hypothesis that these neurotoxic agents might induce cell death in our nigral dopaminergic cell line, SN4741 ( Son et al. 1999) through a common molecular mechanism. Our initial experiments revealed that treatment with both MPP(+) and the other PD-related neurotoxicants induced apoptotic cell death in SN4741 cells, following initial increases of H(2)O(2)-related ROS activity and subsequent activation of JNK1/2 MAP kinases. Moreover, we have demonstrated that during dopaminergic cell death cascades, MPP(+), the neurotoxicants and an oxidant, H(2)O(2) equally induce the ROS-dependent events. Remarkably, the oxidant treatment alone induced similar sequential molecular events: ROS increase, activation of JNK MAP kinases, activation of the PITSLRE kinase, p110, by both Caspase-1 and Caspase-3-like activities and apoptotic cell death. Pharmacological intervention using the combination of the antioxidant Trolox and a pan-caspase inhibitor Boc-(Asp)-fmk (BAF) exerted significant neuroprotection against ROS-induced dopaminergic cell death. Finally, the high throughput cDNA microarray screening using the current model identified downstream response genes, such as heme oxygenase-1, a constituent of Lewy bodies, that can be the useful biomarkers to monitor the pathological conditions of dopaminergic neurons under neurotoxic insult.[1]


  1. Dopaminergic cell death induced by MPP(+), oxidant and specific neurotoxicants shares the common molecular mechanism. Chun, H.S., Gibson, G.E., DeGiorgio, L.A., Zhang, H., Kidd, V.J., Son, J.H. J. Neurochem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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