Inhibition of NADH oxidation by pyridine derivatives

Rona R. Ramsay*, Kathleen A. McKeown, Elizabeth Anne Johnson, Raymond G. Booth, Thomas P. Singer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The neurotoxicity of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, an impurity in an illicit drug, is expressed after its oxidation to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium by monoamine oxidase. The pyridinium is concentrated by carrier-mediated transport into the mitochondria where it inhibits NADH dehydrogenase and, hence, ATP synthesis. Some structurally related compounds have been tested for their effect on the oxidation of NAD+-linked substrates in intact mitochondria, and for the inhibition of the accumulation of the pyridinium into mitochondria and of NADH dehydrogenase activity in a membrane preparation. Some pyridine derivatives are more inhibitory to NADH dehydrogenase than is 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium but these are not concentrated into mitochondria by the uptake system. 4-Phenylpyridine, one of the most effective inhibitors, both occurs naturally and is an environmental pollutant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 1987


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