II. Neuromelanin: A role in MPTP-induced neurotoxicity

Robert J. D'Amato, Guillermo M. Alexander, Robert J. Schwartzman, Cheryl A. Kitt, Donald L. Price, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Methylphenyltetrahydropyridine (MPTP) selectively destroys melanin-containing neurons in the substantia nigra of humans and other primates. Methylphenylpyridine (MPP+), an active metabolite of MPTP, which is accumulated intraneuronally by the catecholamine uptake system, binds with high affinity to neuromelanin. MPP+ bound intracellularly to neuromelanin may be released gradually, resulting in damage to the neurons of the substantia nigra. Chloroquine, a drug which blocks MPP+ binding to neuromelanin, can protect monkeys from MPTP neurotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-712
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 23 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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