The effect of low dose amphetamine in rotenone-induced toxicity in a mice model of Parkinson’s disease

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Toxicology and Narcotics, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt

2 Department of Medical Biochemistry, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt

3 Department of Pathology, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt

4 Department of Pharmacology, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt


Objective(s): The effects of low dose amphetamine on oxidative stress and rotenone-induced neurotoxicity and liver injury were examined in vivo in a mice model of Parkinson’s disease.
Materials and Methods: Male mice were treated with rotenone (1.5 mg/kg, every other day for two weeks, subcutaneously). Mice received either the vehicle or amphetamine intraperitoneally at doses of 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 mg/kg. Oxidative stress was assessed by measurement of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), total anti-oxidant capacity (TAC), and paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) activity in the brain and liver. In addition, brain concentrations of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and tyrosine hydroxylase were determined and histopathology and Bax/Bcl-2 immunohistochemistry were performed.
Results: The levels of lipid peroxidation and NO were increased and TAC and PON-1 were decreased significantly compared with vehicle-injected control mice. There were also significantly increased NF-κB and decreased tyrosine hydroxylase in the brain following rotenone administration. These changes were significantly attenuated by amphetamine. Rotenone caused neurodegenerative changes in the substantia nigra, cerebral cortex, and hippocampus. The liver showed degenerative changes in hepatocytes and infiltration of Kupffer cells. Bax/Bcl2 ratio was significantly increased in brain and liver tissues. Amphetamine prevented these histopathological changes and the increase in apoptosis evoked by rotenone.
Conclusion: These results suggest that low dose amphetamine exerts anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic effects, protects against rotenone-induced neurodegeneration, and could prevent neuronal cell degeneration in Parkinson’s disease.


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