Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 109, Issue 5–6, pp 663–672 | Cite as

The neuromelanin of human substantia nigra and its interaction with metals

  • L. Zecca
  • D. Tampellini
  • A. Gatti
  • R. Crippa
  • M. Eisner
  • D. Sulzer
  • S. Ito
  • R. Fariello
  • M. Gallorini

Summary.

Neuromelanin (NM) is a peculiar biochemical component of several neurons in the Substantia Nigra (SN), the target area of the degenerative process in Parkinson Disease (PD). SN NM has peculiarities as to its composition and an impressive capacity of chelating metals, iron in particular, but not exclusively. Gaining insights into the structural and functional characteristics of NM should help understanding the reasons of selective vulnerability of nigral neurons in many parkinsonian conditions. From the present data a protective role of NM can be postulated until the buffering capability toward heavy metals are exhausted. The overloading of NM with iron and other metals in neurons may trigger inflammatory and degenerative processes aggravating the underlying pathological condition.

Keywords: Neuromelanin metals substantia nigra Parkinson's disease aging. 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Zecca
    • 1
  • D. Tampellini
    • 1
  • A. Gatti
    • 1
  • R. Crippa
    • 3
  • M. Eisner
    • 4
  • D. Sulzer
    • 5
  • S. Ito
    • 2
  • R. Fariello
    • 6
  • M. Gallorini
    • 7
  1. 1. Institute of Biomedical Technologies-CNR, Segrate (Milano), ItalyIT
  2. 2. Fujita Health University School of Health Sciences, Toyoake, Aichi, JapanJP
  3. 3. Department of Environmental Sciences and INFM, University of Parma, ItalyIT
  4. 4. Physics Department, University of Houston, Houston, TX, andUS
  5. 5. Departments of Neurology & Psychiatry, Columbia University, and Department of Neuroscience, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USAUS
  6. 6. Newron Pharmaceuticals R&D Department, Gerenzano (Varese), andIT
  7. 7. Center of Radiochemistry and Activation Analysis-CNR, University of Pavia, ItalyIT

Personalised recommendations