Mechanism of Oxidation of 1-Methyl-4-Phenyl-3,3-Dihydropyridinium (MPDP+)

  • B. Kalyanaraman
  • W. Korytowski
  • C. C. Felix
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 49)


The compound 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) is a neurotoxin found as a contaminant in certain street drugs. Individuals using these drugs can develop symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s disease.1–3 The symptoms have been attributed to MPTP, which is known to produce Parkinsonian symptoms in some animals4,5 and which selectively destroys neuronal cells in the melanin-containing substantia nigra of humans and primates. The conversion of MPTP to reactive metabolites by monoamine oxidase in brain tissue is crucial for MPTP neurotoxicity.6–7 Production of oxygen radicals from metabolites of MPTP has been proposed to account for its selective neuronal damage.8–13


Substantia Nigra Tertiary Amine Reactive Metabolite Parkinsonian Symptom Selective Destruction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Kalyanaraman
    • 1
  • W. Korytowski
    • 1
  • C. C. Felix
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyNational Biomedical ESR CenterMilwaukeeUSA

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