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Skeletal formula of MPP+
Ball-and-stick model of the MPP+ cation
IUPAC name
Other names
Cyperquat; 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium; N-Methyl-4-phenylpyridine
3D model (JSmol)
EC Number 248-939-7
MeSH 1-Methyl-4-phenylpyridinium
Molar mass 170.25 g/mol
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

MPP+ (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium) is a positively charged molecule with chemical formula C12H12N+. It is toxic and acts by interfering with oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria by inhibiting complex I, leading to the depletion of ATP and cell death.[1] Mitochondria in cells treated with MPP+ also display a phenotype indicative of apoptosis: small, round, and fewer in number,[2] it also inhibits the synthesis of catecholamines, reduces levels of dopamine and cardiac norepinephrine, and inactivates tyrosine hydroxylase.[1]

The neurotoxin MPTP is converted in the brain into MPP+ by the enzyme MAO-B, causing parkinsonism in primates by killing certain dopamine-producing neurons in the substantia nigra. MPP+-induced neurodegeneration is specific to dopamine neurons and can be prevented by drug treatment or by limiting the function of the dopamine transporter.[3]

The chloride salt of MPP+ has been used as a herbicide under the trade name cyperquat and is structurally similar to the herbicide paraquat.

In a rat model of Parkinson's disease, nobiletin, a flavonoid found in citrus, can rescue dopaminergic neurons from degeneration caused by treatment with MPP+.[4]


  1. ^ a b PubChem Compound entry on MPP+
  2. ^ Wiemerslage L, Lee D (2016). "Quantification of mitochondrial morphology in neurites of dopaminergic neurons using multiple parameters". J Neurosci Methods. 262: 56–65. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.01.008. PMC 4775301Freely accessible. PMID 26777473. 
  3. ^ Wiemerslage L, Schultz BJ, Ganguly A, Lee D (2013). "Selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons by MPP(+) and its rescue by D2 autoreceptors in Drosophila primary culture". J Neurochem. 126 (4): 529–40. doi:10.1111/jnc.12228. PMC 3737274Freely accessible. PMID 23452092. 
  4. ^ Jeong, Kyoung Hoon; Jeon, Min-Tae; Kim, Heung Deok; Jung, Un Ju; Jang, Min Cheol; Chu, Jin Woo; Yang, Seung Jun; Choi, Il Yoon; Choi, Myung-Sook (2014-10-17). "Nobiletin Protects Dopaminergic Neurons in the 1-Methyl-4-Phenylpyridinium-Treated Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease". Journal of Medicinal Food. 18 (4): 409–414. doi:10.1089/jmf.2014.3241. ISSN 1096-620X.