Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Abstract: p53-knockout mice provide a useful model to test the role of p53 in the neurotoxic effects of drugs in vivo. To test the involvement of p53 in methamphetamine (METH)-induced toxicity, wild-type mice, as well as heterozygous and homozygous p53-knockout male mice, were administered four injections of three different doses (2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 mg/kg) of the drug given at 2-h intervals within the space of 1 day. METH caused a marked dose-dependent loss of dopamine transporters in both the striatum and the nucleus accumbens of wild-type mice killed 2 weeks after drug administration. However, this METH-induced decrease in dopamine transporters was attenuated in both homozygous and heterozygous p53-knockout mice, with homozygous animals showing significantly greater protection. The possibility for p53 involvement in METH-induced toxicity was also supported by the observation that METH caused marked increases in p53-like immunoreactivity in the striata of wild-type mice and very little change in heterozygous p53-knockout mice, whereas no p53-like immunostaining was detected in the homozygous p53-knockout mice. Further support for p53 involvement was provided by the fact that METH treatment caused significant decreases in dopamine transporter mRNA and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta and the ventral tegmental area of wild-type but not homozygous p53-knockout mice killed 2 weeks after cessation of METH administration. These results provide concordant evidence for a role of the tumor suppressor, p53, in the long-term deleterious effects of a drug acting on brain dopamine systems.
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