Effect of low-dose treatment with selegiline on dopamine transporter (DAT) expression and amphetamine-induced dopamine release in vivo
Lamensdorf I, Porat S, Simantov R, Finberg JP
Rappaport Faculty of Medicine,
Technion, Haifa, Israel.
Br J Pharmacol 1999 Feb; 126(4):997-1002


1. Chronic treatment with low doses of the selective monoamine oxidase (MAO) type B inhibitors selegiline [(-)-deprenyl] and rasagiline, causes elevation in extracellular level of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethylamine (dopamine) in the rat striatum in vivo (Lamensdorf et al., 1996). The present study was carried out to determine whether this effect of selegiline could be the result of an inhibition of the high-affinity dopamine neuronal transport process. 2. Changes in activity of the dopamine transporter (DAT) in vivo following selegiline treatment were evaluated indirectly by microdialysis technique in the rat, from the change in striatal dopamine extracellular concentration following systemic amphetamine administration (4 mg kg(-1), i.p.). Striatal levels of the DAT molecule were determined by immunoblotting. Uptake of [3H]-dopamine was determined in synaptosomes from selegiline-treated animals. 3. Amphetamine-induced increase in striatal extracellular dopamine level was attenuated by one day and by chronic (21 days) treatment with selegiline (0.25 mg kg(-1), s.c.). 4. Striatal levels of DAT were elevated after 1 and 21 days treatment with selegiline, but were not affected by clorgyline, rasagiline, nomifensine or amphetamine. 5. The increase in DAT expression, and attenuation of amphetamine-induced dopamine release, were not accompanied by a change in [3H]-dopamine uptake in synaptosomes of selegiline-treated animals. 6. The results suggest that a reversible inhibition of dopamine uptake occurs following chronic low dose selegiline treatment in vivo which may be mediated by an increase in endogenous MAO-B substrates such as 2-phenylethylamine, rather than by the inhibitor molecule or its metabolites. Increased DAT expression appears to be a special property of the selegiline molecule, since it occurs after one low dose of selegiline, and is not seen with other inhibitors of MAO-A or MAO-B. The new DAT molecules formed following selegiline treatment appear not to be functionally active.

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