In order to investigate the effect of n-hexane and its metabolites on the Central Nervous System (CNS), we treated mice with n-hexane and 2,5-hexanedione (2,5-HD) by intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration. Gascromatographic mass spectrometric (GCMS) analyses of striatum and cerebellum revealed a consistent increase of 2,5-HD concentration at 0.5 and 2 hours after treatment and a decline to baseline levels at 24 hours. Traces of 2,5-HD were detected in the brain of control animals. Biochemical analyses revealed a precocious, short lasting, significant increase of striatal dopamine (DA) and homovanillic acid (HVA) levels. A significant increase of striatal synaptosomal DA uptake, suggesting a DA releasing effect on the dopaminergic terminals, was also observed. These results support the hypothesis of a possible role of n-hexane and its metabolites in inducing parkinsonism in humans and animals.
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