Free radical scavenging properties of apomorphine enantiomers and dopamine: Possible implication in their mechanism of action in parkinsonism

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The influence of R(-) apomorphine, S(+) apomorphine and deopamine on the oxidation kinetics of two polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (cholesteryl linoleate (CL) and Trilinolein (TL) was investigated The oxidation was initiated by free radicals generated through thermal decomposition of 2,2'-Azobis(2-methy-propionitrile) (AMPN) in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) thermostated at 50°C. The hydroperoxides formed were determined by iodine titration using a diode array spectrophotometer at 290 nm.

Both enantiomers of apomorphine as well as dopamine exerted an inhibitory effect. Tocopherol (α-tocopherol) and ascorbic acid were used as controls. The former inhibited while ascorbic acid facilitated the oxidation reaction.

These results are discussed i relation with the possible role of oxidative injury in parkinsonism and the usefulness of apomorphine in elevating “on-off” episodes. On this basis, the non-dopaminergic enantiomer of apomorphine (S(+)-isomer) is put foward to test the importance of its radical scavenging properties in parkinsonism which could eventually lead to a therapeutic alternative with less side effects.