Differential vulnerability of snake species to MPTP: a behavioral and biochemical comparison in ratsnakes (Elaphe) and watersnakes (Nerodia).
Temple-JG; Miller-DB; Barthalmus-GT
Neurotoxicol Teratol 2002 Mar-Apr; 24(2):227-233
The synthetic neurotoxicant 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) induces a Parkinsonian-like syndrome in humans and nonhuman primates, and also causes movement disorders in rodents, fish, amphibians and lizards. To date, the effects of MPTP have not been characterized in snakes. In this study, the behavioral and biochemical effects of MPTP were assessed in the black ratsnake Elaphe o. obsoleta and the banded watersnake Nerodia f. fasciata--species that display contrasting behavioral sensitivities to dopaminergic antagonists and to amphibian toxins. We report that MPTP induces depletion of norepinephrine and serotonin in fore, mid and hindbrain regions and depletion of dopamine in fore and midbrain regions in E.o. obsoleta. MPTP also induced a marked reduction in righting ability in E.o. obsoleta. In N.f. fasciata, norepinephrine and dopamine were depleted by MPTP in all three brain regions and serotonin was only significantly reduced in the forebrain. In contrast to E.o. obsoleta, N.f. fasciata demonstrated no behavioral disorders. This study demonstrates a behavioral and biochemical sensitivity to MPTP in E.o. obsoleta that differs from that in N.f. fasciata. The differential sensitivities to monoaminergic modulation may be related to the contrasting diets of these species.
Neurotoxins; Behavioral-disorders; Biological-effects; Toxins; Behavioral-testing; Animal-studies; Animals; Rodents; Laboratory-animals; Neuromotor-system-disorders; Neuromuscular-function; Neuromotor-disorders
Department of Biological Sciences, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, USA
Neurotoxicology and Teratology