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Intake of Tomato-Enriched Diet Protects from 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Degeneration of Rat Nigral Dopaminergic Neurons

  • Vincenzo di MatteoEmail author
  • Massimo Pierucci
  • Giuseppe Di Giovanni
  • Luana Katia Dragani
  • Stefania Murzilli
  • Andreina Poggi
  • Ennio Esposito
Chapter
Part of the Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa book series (NEURALTRANS, volume 73)

Abstract

There is extensive evidence that oxidative damage of dopamine (DA)-containing neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) may contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD). We evaluated the potential neuroprotective effect of diets enriched with wild-type Red Setter (RS) tomato or transgenic High Carotene (HC) tomato, rich in β-carotene, obtained by the activation of lycopene β-cyclase (tlcy-b), in an animal model of PD. Male Fischer 344 rats were fed for 14 days with standard AltrominMT diet, 5% RS- or 5% HC-enriched diet. Seven days after the beginning of this diet regimen, the rats were lesioned by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injected into the left SNc. After further 7 days, the rats were sacrificed, and DA and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) levels in both the left (ipsilateral) and the right (contralateral) striata were measured. Striatal DA levels were reduced by 86.5 ± 5.0% in control, 86.2 ± 5.0% in HC-, and 56.0 ± 9.0% in RS-fed group. Striatal DOPAC was decreased by 85.6 ± 5.0% in controls, 83.0 ± 6.0% in HC-, and 58.9 ± 10.0% in RS-fed group. Blood was obtained from the rats on day 14 and the plasma level of licopene and β-carotene was measured by liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-APCI-MS) for the determination of lycopene and β-carotene levels. The plasma level of lycopene was 4.7 ± 0.2 ng/ml in 5% RS-fed rats, while it was undetectable (< 2.5 ng ml−1) in control and HC-fed rats. The efficacy of RS diet to preserve striatal dopaminergic innervation can be attributed to the ability of lycopene to prevent the degeneration of DA-containing neurons in the SNc.

Keywords

Diet Dopamine Lycopene Parkinson’s disease Striatum β-carotene 

Abbreviations

6-OHDA

6-hydroxydopamine

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

BHT

Butylated hydroxytoluene

CaMV25S

Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S

DA

Dopamine

DOPAC

3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid

GSH

Glutathione

HC

High carotene

HPLC

High performance liquid chromatography

LC-APCI-MS

Liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry

MPTP

1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine

PD

Parkinson’s disease

PLSD

Protected least significance difference

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

RS

Red Setter

SNc

Substantia nigra pars compacta

tlcy-b

Tomato lycopene β-cyclase.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study has been carried out in the frame of a MIUR L.297/96-financed project (SAFE) to Agrobios Metapontum. We thank Dr. Francesco Cellini and Dr. Angelo Petrozza, Agrobios Metapontum for kindly supplying RS and HC tomatoes and Dr. Gianluigi Forloni, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, for the helpful discussion.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien Printed in Germany 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincenzo di Matteo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Massimo Pierucci
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Di Giovanni
    • 2
  • Luana Katia Dragani
    • 1
  • Stefania Murzilli
    • 1
  • Andreina Poggi
    • 1
  • Ennio Esposito
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri”, Consorzio “Mario Negri” SudSanta Maria ImbaroItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale, Sezione di Fisiologia Umana “G. Pagano”Università degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly

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