Region-specific attenuation of a trypsin-like protease in substantia nigra following dopaminergic neurotoxicity by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine

Rajamma Usha, Dhanasekharan Muralikrishnan, Bobby Thomas, Sagarmoy Ghosh, Chhabinath Mandal, Kochupurackal P. Mohanakumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We analysed apoptosis, caspase-1 and -3, and trypsin-like protease activity in the nigrostriatal pathway during 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced neurotoxicity. MPTP injected (30 mg/kg, i.p., twice, 16 h apart) mice were sacrificed on 1, 2 and 7 days. DNA extracted from nucleus caudatus putamen (NCP) and substantia nigra (SN) was subjected to agarose gel electrophoresis. Typical apoptotic-like DNA cleavage was absent in SN or NCP after this dose of MPTP. A trypsin-like protease activity was significantly decreased in SN and not in NCP. While caspase-3 activity in the whole brain was increased significantly, caspase-1 activity was unaffected. Striatal dopamine content was decreased to 75% by 7 days. The absence of typical DNA 'ladder' when there was severe striatal dopamine depletion suggests that in vivo MPTP-mediated dopaminergic neurotoxicity may not involve apoptotic cell death, and explains why in mice MPTP-induced dopamine depletion is transient. The region-specific decrease in trypsin-like protease activity and absence of caspase-3 activation in SN signify the importance of trypsin-like protease in the regulation of apoptosis in MPTP-neurotoxicity in mice. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-195
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 3 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase-1
  • Caspase-3
  • Dopamine depletion
  • Experimental parkinsonism
  • Striatum
  • Trypsin inhibition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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