Dopamine mediates striatal malonate toxicity via dopamine transporter-dependent generation of reactive oxygen species and D2 but not D1 receptor activation

Z. G. Xia, N. Schmidt, Peter Teismann, B. Ferger, J. B. Schulz

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Intrastriatal injection of the reversible succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor malonate results in both chemically induced hypoxia and striatal lesions that are similar to those seen in Huntington's disease and cerebral ischaemia. The mechanisms leading to neuronal death involve secondary excitotoxicity, the release of dopamine from nigrostriatal fibres and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) including nitric oxide (NO) and hydroxyl radicals. Here, we further investigated the contribution and mechanism of dopamine on malonate-induced striatal lesions. Prior lesions of the nigrostriatal pathway with 6-OHDA or the depletion of striatal dopamine stores by pretreatment with reserpine, an inhibitor or the vesicular monoamine transporter type-2 (VMAT2), in combination with alpha -methyl-p-tyrosine resulted in a significant reduction of malonate-induced striatal lesion volumes. This was paralleled by block or reduction of the malonate-induced generation of ROS, as measured by the conversions of salicylate to 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,3-DHBA) using microdialysis. Systemic or intrastriatal application of L-DOPA or dopamine, respectively, reconstituted malonate toxicity and the generation of ROS in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats. Block of the dopamine transporter by GBR12909 did not result in a reduction of malonate-Induced dopamine release, but significantly reduced the generation of hydroxyl radicals. The D2 receptor agonist lisuride and the mixed D1 and D2 receptor agonist apomorphine, but not the D1 receptor agonist SKF38393, partially restored malonate toxicity in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats without increasing the generation of ROS. In line with these results sulpiride, an inhibitor of D2, receptors, reduced the malonate-induced lesion volume, whereas SCH23390, an inhbitor of D1 receptors, was ineffective. Our data suggest that malonate-induced dopamine toxicity to energetically impaired neurons is mediated by two independent pathways: (i) dopamine transporter uptake-dependent, dopamine receptor-independent generation of ROS, and (ii) excessive stimulation of D2 receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001


  • dopamine agonists
  • dopamine transporter
  • excitotoxicity
  • microdialysis
  • oxidative stress
  • striatum
  • arachidonic-acid release
  • nitric-oxide synthase
  • rat striatum
  • in-vivo
  • mitochondrial inhibitor
  • succinate-dehydrogenase
  • parkinsons-disease
  • therapeutic window
  • histotoxic hypoxia
  • free-radicals


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