ABSTRACT: In the present study we have analyzed the effect of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) essential cofactor for tyrosine hydroxylase and nitric oxide synthase, on the 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) release from in vitro incubated striatal tissue. dl-6-methyl-5,6,7,8 tetrahydropterine (6-MPH4)-stimulated L-DOPA release in a concentration-dependent manner in the range from 25 to 100 microM. At these concentrations 6-MPH4 did not have any effect on dopamine release. Presence of Nomega-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 200 microM), a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, but not of alpha-methyl-rho-tyrosine (alpha-MPT, 100 microM), a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor, blocked L-DOPA release induced by 6-MPH4 (200 microM). Also, the addition to the incubation medium of melatonin (MEL, 300 microM), which is a scavenger of NO and other free radicals, blocked the L-DOPA release induced by 6-MPH4 (200 microM) but this effect did not occur with the addition of the peroxynitrite scavenger uric acid (UA, 300 microM). Sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 100 muM), a NO generator and l-DOPA releaser as previously reported, potentiated the L-DOPA releasing effect of 6-MPH4 (200 microM) which was also blocked by melatonin. In summary 6-MPH4 stimulates L-DOPA release from striatal fragments incubated in vitro by a mechanism which involves NO or other free radicals derived from NO but not peroxynitrite.
European Journal of Pharmacology 08/2006; 541(1-2):33-7. · 2.52 Impact Factor