• We have evaluated potential neuroprotection offered By (-)-deprenyl on degenerating motor neurons of the spinal cord when subjected to transient ischemia. Thirty-six healthy adult male Wistar rats were trained for a motor function test in a staircase maze and randomly but equally (n = 6) grouped into normal control, sham control, ischemia (IS), IS rats treated with vehicle (IV), and rats treated with low (0.1 mg/kg) and high (1.0 mg/kg) doses of (-)-deprenyl. (-)-Deprenyl was given intraperitoneally 30 min after the induction of ischemia and thereafter everyday for 14 days. Spinal cord ischemia was produced at the lumbar level in conscious rats by occluding the abdominal aorta just below the branching point of the left renal artery for 80 min. Analysis of the motor performance in all groups of rats revealed a significant (P < 0.001) increase in the time taken to cross the run way of the maze, in IS and IV rats compared to all other groups of rats. In addition, qualitative and quantitative examination of spinal motor neurons at the lumbar level showed a significant (P < 0.001) decrease in the number of healthy motor neurons in IS and IV rats compared to controls. Postischemic administration of (-)-deprenyl, at both doses, significantly prevented motor neuron degeneration and the associated locomotor deficits in IS rats.

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