Prevention of dopaminergic neurotoxicity by targeting nitric oxide and peroxynitrite: Implications for the prevention of methamphetamine-induced neurotoxic damage

Syed Z. Imam, Fakhrul Islam, Yossef Itzhak, William Slikker, Syed F. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Scopus citations


Methamphetamine (METH) is a neurotoxic psychostimulant that produces catecholaminergic brain damage by producing oxidative stress and free radical generation. The role of oxygen and nitrogen radicals is well documented as a cause of METH-induced neurotoxic damage. In this study, we have obtained evidence that METH-induced neurotoxicity is the resultant of interaction between oxygen and nitrogen radicals, and it is mediated by the production of peroxynitrite. We have also assessed the effects of inhibitors of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) as well as scavenger of nitric oxide and a peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst. Significant protective effects were observed with the inhibitor of nNOS, 7-nitroindazole (7-NI), as well as by the selective peroxynitrite scavenger or decomposition catalyst, 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(2,4,6trimethyl-3,5-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrinato iron III (FeTPPS). However, the use of a nitric oxide scavenger, 2-phenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (c-PTIO), did not provide any significant protection against METH-induced hyperthermia or peroxynitrite generation and the resulting dopaminergic neurotoxicity. In particular, treatment with FeTPPS completely prevented METH-induced hyperthermia, peroxynitrite production, and METH-induced dopaminergic depletion. Together, these data demonstrate that METH-induced dopaminergic neurotoxicity is mediated by the generation of peroxynitrite, which can be selectively protected by nNOS inhibitors or peroxynitrite scavenger or decomposition catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-171
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this