Oxidative stress and dopamine deficiency in a genetic mouse model of Lesch-Nyhan disease

Jasper E. Visser, Doug W. Smith, Sheryl S. Moy, George R. Breese, Theodore Friedmann, Jeffrey D. Rothstein, H. A. Jinnah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lesch-Nyhan disease, a neurogenetic disorder caused by congenital deficiency of the purine salvage enzyme hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase, is associated with a prominent loss of striatal dopamine. The current studies address the hypothesis that oxidant stress causes damage or dysfunction of nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in a knockout mouse model of the disease, by assessing several markers of oxidative damage and free radical scavenging systems. Some of these measures provided evidence for an increase in oxidative stress in the mutant mice (aconitase activity, oxidized glutathione, and lipid peroxides), but others did not (superoxide dismutase, protein thiol content, carbonyl protein content, total glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and thiobarbituric reducing substances). Immunolocalization of heme-oxygenase 1 provided no evidence for oxidative stress restricted to specific elements of the striatum or midbrain in the mutants. Striatal dopamine systems of the mutant mice were more vulnerable to a challenge with the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine, but they were not protected by cross-breeding the mutants with transgenic mice over-expressing superoxide dismutase. Overall, these data provide evidence for increased oxidative stress, but the failure to protect the knockout mice by over-expressing SOD1 argues that oxidative stress is not the sole process responsible for the loss of striatal dopamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2002


  • Basal ganglia
  • Dopamine
  • Free radical
  • Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase
  • Lesch-Nyhan disease
  • Mouse mutant
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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