The pharmacology of selegiline ((−)deprenyl). New aspects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract– Male rats were treated from the end of their 2nd year of life either with saline (1 ml/kg, s.c.) (n=66) or with deprenyl (0,25 mg/kg, s.c.) (n=66) three times a week until death. Whereas none of the two‐year‐old saline‐treated rats displayed full scale sexual activity, this appeared in 64 out of 66 rats on deprenyl. The longest living rat in the saline‐treated group lived 164 weeks. The average lifespan of the group was 147.05±0.56 weeks. The shortest living animal in the (−)deprenyl‐treated group lived 171 weeks and the longest living rat died during the 226th week of its life. The average lifespan was 191.91±2.31 weeks. This is the first instance that a well‐aimed medication prolonged lifespan of members of a species beyond their maximum age of death (182 weeks in the rat). A close relation between sexual activity and lifespan was detected. Male rats (n=94) selected from an 8‐month old population as sexually inactive ones were found to be miserable learners. This group was treated either with saline (1 ml/kg, s.c.) (n=46) or with (−)deprenyl (0.25 mg/kg, s.c.) (n=48) three times a week for 36 weeks. Their performance in the shuttle box during 5 consecutive days was tested before and after treatment. The total number of conditioned avoidance responses (CAR) which remained unchanged in the saline‐treated group (6.53±1.41 before and 5.98±1.15 after treatment) increased from 5.57±0.65 to 20.73±1.39 (p<0.001) in the (−)deprenyl‐treated group of rats. (−)Deprenyl‐treatment (0.25‐2 mg/kg, s.c., daily for 21 days) increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the striatum of CFY rats, whereas clorgyline‐treatment (0.1–1 mg/kg) inhibited it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Publication statusPublished - 1989



  • (−)deprenyl
  • aging of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons
  • learning
  • longevity
  • protection of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons
  • selegiline
  • sexual activity
  • superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this