GM-1 ganglioside promotes the recovery of surviving midbrain dopaminergic neurons in MPTP-treated monkeys
Herrero MT, Perez-Otaño I, Oset C, Kastner A, Hirsch EC, Agid Y, Luquin MR, Obeso JA, Del Rio J.
INSERM U289, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris, France.
We have examined the influence of chronic GM-1 treatment (20 mg/kg i.m. for 16 consecutive days) on the extent of dopaminergic damage induced by acute 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) administration in cynomolgus monkeys using immunohistochemical and neurochemical analysis.
The total number of tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactive neurons was reduced in different catecholaminergic mesencephalic regions of MPTP-treated monkeys such as substantia nigra pars compacta, mainly in the ventral portion of the nucleus (39% reduction), substantia nigra pars lateralis (31%), peri- and retrorubral catecholaminergic cell group and ventral tegmental area (A8 and A10 respectively, 20% reduction). A similar degree of neuronal loss was observed in the MPTP+GM-1-treated animals, suggesting that GM-1 ganglioside does not exert a protective effect against MPTP-induced dopaminergic cell loss. Moreover, no neurochemical recovery from the striatal dopaminergic depletion induced by MPTP was found after GM-1 treatment. However, the optical density of tyrosine hydroxylase fibers and the cellular tyrosine hydroxylase content were increased in the substantia nigra pars compacta and ventral tegmental area of the MPTP-treated monkeys which received GM-1 ganglioside, compared with animals treated only with the neurotoxin.
These results indicate that GM-1 does not protect against cell death but exerts a neurotrophic effect on surviving dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain of MPTP-lesioned monkeys, suggesting that GM-1 ganglioside may be potentially useful for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.
CITATION Neuroscience. 1993 Oct;56(4):965-72