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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of MPTP, MPP+ and paraquat on mitochondrial potential and oxidative stress.

  • Author(s): Lambert, CE
  • Bondy, SC
  • et al.

The effect of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) and 1,1-dimethyl-4,4-bipyridinium (paraquat) upon the electrical potential across the plasma and mitochondrial membranes within synaptosomes has been investigated. MPTP selectively depressed plasma membrane potential while MPP+ specifically reduced mitochondrial potential. The structurally similar compound paraquat had no effect on either membrane potential. Enhancement of the lipid peroxidative activity with an Fe-ADP complex depressed both potentials. Paraquat effected increased peroxidative activity in brain homogenates that was less pronounced than that due to Fe-ADP. MPTP reduced basal but stimulated Fe-ADP enhanced peroxidation. The mechanisms underlying the toxicity of MPP+ are likely to differ from those of paraquat, primarily involving impaired mitochondrial function rather than increased oxidative stress.

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