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The selective neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) was injected (IV) into monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) in two different injection regimes. With the small dose regime, one monkey was injected with 0.25 mg/kg, every other day, over a 16 day period. In the large dose regime, another monkey was injected with 0.5 mg/kg every other day, over an 8 day period. While the time required for drug delivery was varied between animals, the total dose delivered was 2 mg/kg in both animals. Before, during and for 14 days after the course of drug administration both animals were assessed on several motor function tests. The animal receiving the small dose regime showed normal motor performance on all tests for the duration of the study, however, the monkey receiving the large dose regime displayed progressive akinesia, muscular rigidity, and aphagia. In fact, impairment was so severe that this animal had to be force fed and maintained with daily oral L-dopa. Fluorescent histochemical assessment of forebrain in both monkeys revealed that striatal tissue was totally devoid of fluorescence in both cases. Large, swollen axons in the internal capsule, hypothalamus and midbrain were visible only in the severely impaired animal. These results suggest that, as with other neurotoxins, degeneration associated increases in amines may be important in the aetiology of Parkinson-like motor impairment produced by selective neurotoxins.


Journal article


Brain Res Bull

Publication Date





57 - 61


1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, Animals, Brain, Catecholamines, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Histocytochemistry, Injections, Intravenous, Macaca fascicularis, Male, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Motor Activity, Movement Disorders, Nerve Degeneration, Pyridines, Time Factors