Deprenyl Prevents Protein Oxidation
Vol 46 (No. 1-2) June 1997, 31-38
Brain Res Mol Brain Res
Chronic treatment of aged rats with deprenyl prevents age-induced protein oxidation in substantia nigra and protects tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) enzyme against inactivation . With these precedents, we treated adult rats with deprenyl for 3 weeks in order to get further insight in the mechanism by which deprenyl exerts such actions. After completing the treatment, dopamine (DA) levels markedly increased in both striatum and substantia nigra while levels of the acid DA metabolites, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA), decreased in the two brain areas, thus proving MAO-inhibiting properties of the treatment. We then studied the cellular expression of TH mRNA by in situ hybridization. Following treatment with deprenyl, levels of TH mRNA were significantly higher in individual dopaminergic nigral cell bodies than in those of control rats (+74%). Western blotting analysis of TH enzyme amount revealed a positive effect of the treatment in both the terminal field (+44%) and the cell body region (+31%). This correlation between TH mRNA and amount was also extended to TH enzyme activity in the two brain areas studied, which significantly increased in striatum (+57%) and substantia nigra (+35%) following deprenyl treatment. Taken together, our results clearly suggest a TH- inducing effect of deprenyl in the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system, which seems to be independent of its protective action against oxidative stress described previously. These results expand our knowledge about the beneficial effect of deprenyl in the therapy of Parkinson's disease.