Background and purpose: Progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain is the main mechanism of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Although potassium channels affect neural activity and death in this area, little research has investigated the effect of potassium channel blockers, such as 4-aminopyridine in the pretreatment of PD.
Methods: Fifty-six healthy male Wistar rats were selected for this study. They were divided into seven groups according to receiving saline or 4-aminopyridine, receiving a low or high dose of 4-aminopyridine and receiving 4-aminopyridine for short or long periods. Apomorphine-induced rotational test, elevated body swing test and rotarod test were done to examine behavioral performances.
Results: 4-aminopyridine could not completely block behavioral disturbances induced by MPTP, however, it decreased them in all behavioral tests. Long administration of 4-aminopyridine was more effective than short administration in lowering behavioral disturbances. Although high dose of 4-aminopyridine was more effective than low dose in initial trials of each behavioral test, there was no difference between them in the last trial.
Conclusion: Long administration of low dose of 4-aminopyridine is the best way to lessen behavioral disturbances induce by MPTP and also avoiding side effects of high dose of 4-aminopyridine.
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