The protective effect of GM1 ganglioside against nerve cell death induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) was analyzed in monkey mesencephalon. Administration of GM1 before and during MPTP treatment improved motor performances compared with MPTP-treated animals that received saline rather than GM1.
Postmortem analysis revealed that GM1 did not protect dopaminergic cell bodies from MPTP intoxication but resulted in an increased immunoreactivity of tyrosine hydroxylase in the perikarya and processes of the surviving neurons.
These data suggest that GM1 may be potentially used as a palliative rather than a curative therapy in Parkinson's disease.
CITATION Neurology. 1993 Oct;43(10):2132-4
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