Riluzole (2-amino-6-trifluoromethoxy benzothiazole) attenuates MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) neurotoxicity in mice

Tsutomu Araki, Yasuko Muramatsu, Katsuyuki Tanaka, Mitsunobu Matsubara, Yutaka Imai

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The protective effects of 2-amino-6-trifluoromethoxy benzothiazole (riluzole), a Na+ channel blocker with antiglutamatergic activity were investigated in the model of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced depletion of dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) levels in mice. The mice were injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with four administrations of MPTP (10 mg/kg) at 1 h intervals and then the brains were analyzed at 3 and 7 days after the treatments. Dopamine, DOPAC and HVA levels were significantly decreased in the striatum 3 days after MPTP treatments. Riluzole dose-dependently antagonized the MPTP-induced decrease in dopamine, DOPAC and HVA levels in the striatum. MPTP treatment also caused a severe decrease in the amount of nigral tyrosine hydroxylase protein (TH) and microtuble-associated protein 2 (MAP 2) and produced a marked increase in the striatal glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Our immunohistochemical study with TH and MAP 2 staining showed that riluzole can protect against MPTP-induced neuronal damage in the substantia nigra. Furthermore, riluzole markedly increased the striatal GFAP-positive astrocytes 3 days after MPTP treatments. These results suggest that riluzole is effective against MPTP-induced neurodegeneration of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal pathway. Our findings also may provide a rationale for the identification of astrocytes as a prominent target for the development of new therapies of Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Oct 12


  • 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine
  • 2-amino-6-trifluoromethoxy benzothiazole
  • Dopamine
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MK-801
  • Mice
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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