© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Several studies have shown that intrastriatal application of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) produces similar biochemical changes in rat to those seen in Parkinson’s disease (PD), such as dopaminergic terminal degeneration and consequent appearance of motor deficits, making the MPP+ lesion a widely used model of parkinsonism in rodents. Previous results from our group have shown a neuroprotective effect of the carboxyl-terminal domain of the heavy chain of tetanus toxin (Hc-TeTx) under different types of stress. In the present study, pretreatment with the intraperitoneal injection of Hc-TeTx in rats prevents the decrease of tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the striatum due to injury with MPP+, when applied stereotaxically in the striatum. Similarly, striatal catecholamine contents are restored, as well as the levels of two other dopaminergic markers, the dopamine transporter (DAT) and the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT-2). Additionally, uptake studies of [3H]-dopamine and [3H]-MPP+ reveal that DAT action is not affected by Hc-TeTx, discarding a protective effect due to a reduced entry of MPP+ into nerve terminals. Behavioral assessments show that Hc-TeTx pretreatment improves the motor skills (amphetamine-induced rotation, forelimb use, and adjusting steps) of MPP+-treated rats. Our results lead us to consider Hc-TeTx as a potential therapeutic tool in pathologies caused by impairment of dopaminergic innervation in the striatum, as is the case of PD.
- Carboxyl-terminal domain of tetanus toxin
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tyrosine hydroxylase