Dopa and Dopamine Cause the Destruction of Cultured Nerve Cells in the Presence of Iron: Possible Mechanism of the Nigral Degeneration in Parkinson’s Disease
Melanine-containing nerve cells in the brainstem are regularly and distinctively involved in Parkinson’s disease. Most prominent nerve cell loss is found in the substantia nigra, the most important dopaminergic center. The pathogenesis of this condition is still unknown in spite of extensive approaches from many aspects. All hypotheses for the nigral degeneration seem lacking in convincing evidences (Barbeau, 1984). On the other hand, biochemical analyses have revealed that the substantia nigra from parkinsonian subjects contains more ferric ion and lipid peroxide, and less polyunsaturated fatty acid than those from control subjects (Riederer et al., 1989; Dexter et al., 1989). These findings support the idea that melanine-containing nerve cells are destroyed by lipid peroxidation of the cell membrane, and that dopamine, its metabolically related compounds and iron take part in initiation of the pathologic process of the disorder.
KeywordsLipid Peroxidation Nerve Cell Culture Nerve Cell Active Oxygen Species Nigral Degeneration
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