Effects of 7-nitroindazole, an NOS inhibitor on methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotoxicity in mice

Syed F. Ali, Yossef Itzhak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Methamphetamine (METH) is one of the major drugs of abuse that is postulated to cause neurotoxicity by depleting dopamine (DA) and its metabolites, high-affinity DA uptake sites, and the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase. The present study was undertaken to investigate whether the relatively selective, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor, 7-nitroindazole (7-NI), protects against METH-induced neurotoxicity. Male Swiss Webster mice received the following injections intraperitoneally (i.p.) 3 times (every 3 hr): (i) vehicle/saline, (ii) 7-NI (25 mg/kg)/saline, (iii) vehicle/METH (5 mg/kg), and (iv) 7-NI (25 mg/kg)m/METH (5 mg/kg). On the second day, groups (i) and (iii) received two vehicle injections and groups (ii) and (iv) received two 7-NI injections (25 mg/kg each). The administration of vehicle/METH resulted in 68, 44 and 55% decreases in the concentration of DA, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and homovanillic acid (HVA), respectively, and a 48% decrease in the number of [3H]mazindol binding sites in the striatum compared to control values. The treatment with 7-NI (group iv) provided a full protection against the depletion of DA and its metabolites, and the loss of dopamine transporter binding sites. Multiple injection of METH caused a significant decrease in the concentration of serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite 5-hydroxindole acetic acid (5HIAA). Treatment with 7-NI partially blocked the depletion of 5-HT and completely blocked the reduction in 5-HIAA levels. The administration of 7-NI/saline (group ii) affected neither the tissue concentration of DA, 5-HT and their metabolites (DOPAC, HVA and 5-HIAA) nor the binding parameters of [3H]-mazindol compared to control (vehicle/saline) values, 7-NI had no significant effect on the animals' body temperature, and it did not affect METH-induced hyperthermia. These findings indicate a role for nitric oxide in METH-induced neurotoxicity and also suggest that blockage of NOS may be beneficial for the management of Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-130
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of 7-nitroindazole, an NOS inhibitor on methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotoxicity in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this