Selectivity of the Parkinsonian neurotoxin MPTP: Toxic metabolite MPP + binds to neuromelanin

Robert J. D'Amato, Zoe P. Lipman, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Methylphenyltetrahydropyridine (MPTP) selectively destroys neuronal cell bodies in the melanin-containing substantia nigra of humans and other primates. We show that methylphenylpyridine (MPP+), an active metabolite of MPTP which is accumulated intraneuronally by the catecholamine uptake system, binds with high affinity to melanin and neuromelanin. MPP+ bound intracellularly to neuromelanin may be released gradually, resulting in subsequent damage to the neurons of the substantia nigra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-989
Number of pages3
Issue number4741
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986


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  • General

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