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The smoke of crack cocaine contains cocaine and its pyrolysis product, anhydroecgonine methyl ester (AEME). AEME possesses greater neurotoxic potential than cocaine and an additive effect when they are combined. Since atropine prevented AEME-induced neurotoxicity, it has been suggested that its toxic effects may involve the muscarinic cholinergic receptors (mAChRs). Our aim is to understand the interaction between AEME and mAChRs and how it can lead to neuronal death. Using a rat primary hippocampal cell culture, AEME was shown to cause a concentration-dependent increase on both total [(3)H]inositol phosphate and intracellular calcium, and to induce DNA fragmentation after 24 hours of exposure, in line with the activation of caspase-3 previously shown. Additionally, we assessed AEME activity at rat mAChR subtypes 1-5 heterologously expressed in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells. l-[N-methyl-(3)H]scopolamine competition binding showed a preference of AEME for the M2 subtype; calcium mobilization tests revealed partial agonist effects at M1 and M3 and antagonist activity at the remaining subtypes. The selective M1 and M3 antagonists and the phospholipase C inhibitor, were able to prevent AEME-induced neurotoxicity, suggesting that the toxicity is due to the partial agonist effect at M1 and M3 mAChRs, leading to DNA fragmentation and neuronal death by apoptosis.
Ceruloplasmin is a protective ferroxidase. Although some studies suggest that plasma ceruloplasmin levels are raised by exercise, the impact of exercise on brain ceruloplasmin is unknown. We have examined whether striatal ceruloplasmin is raised with treadmill exercise and/or is correlated with spontaneous physical activity in rhesus monkeys. Parkinson's disease is characterized by a loss in ceruloplasmin and, similarly, Parkinson's models lead to a loss in antioxidant defenses. Exercise might protect against Parkinson's disease and is known to prevent antioxidant loss in experimental models. We have therefore examined whether treadmill exercise prevents ceruloplasmin loss in monkeys treated unilaterally with the dopaminergic neurotoxin MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine). We found that exercise raised ceruloplasmin expression in the caudate and accumbens but not the putamen of intact monkeys. However, putamen ceruloplasmin was correlated with spontaneous activity in a home pen. MPTP alone did not cause unilateral loss of ceruloplasmin but blocked the impact of exercise on ceruloplasmin. Similarly, the correlation between putamen ceruloplasmin and activity was also lost with MPTP. MPTP elicited loss of tyrosine hydroxylase in the treated hemisphere; the remaining tyrosine hydroxylase was correlated with overall daily activity (spontaneous activity plus that induced by the treadmill). Thus, treadmill activity can raise ceruloplasmin but this impact and the link with spontaneous activity are both diminished in Parkinsonian primates. Furthermore, low overall physical activity predicts greater loss of dopaminergic phenotype in MPTP-treated primates. These data have implications for the maintenance of active lifestyles in both healthy and neurodegenerative conditions.
Methamphetamine is currently one of the most widely abused drugs worldwide, with hyperthermia being a leading cause of death in methamphetamine overdose situations. Methamphetamine-induced hyperthermia involves a variety of cellular mechanisms, including increases in hypothalamic interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) expression. Methamphetamine also interacts with sigma receptors and previous studies have shown that sigma receptor antagonists mitigate many of the behavioral and physiological effects of methamphetamine, including hyperthermia. The purpose of the current study was to determine if the attenuation of methamphetamine-induced hyperthermia by the sigma receptor antagonists, AZ66 and SN79, is associated with a concomitant attenuation of IL-1β mRNA expression, particularly in the hypothalamus. Methamphetamine produced dose- and time-dependent increases in core body temperature and IL-1β mRNA expression in the hypothalamus, striatum, and cortex in male, Swiss Webster mice. Pretreatment with the sigma receptor antagonists, AZ66 and SN79, significantly attenuated methamphetamine-induced hyperthermia, but further potentiated IL-1β mRNA in the mouse hypothalamus when compared to animals treated with methamphetamine alone. These findings suggest sigma receptor antagonists attenuate methamphetamine-induced hyperthermia through a different mechanism from that involved in the modulation of hypothalamic IL-1β mRNA expression.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Recent clinical evidence supports a link between 25-hydroxyvitamin D insufficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels <30 ng/mL) and Parkinson's disease. To investigate the effect of 25(OH)D depletion on neuronal susceptibility to toxic insult, we induced a state of 25(OH)D deficiency in mice and then challenged them with the dopaminergic neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We found there was no significant difference between control and 25(OH)D-deficient animals in striatal dopamine levels or dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase expression after lesioning with MPTP. Additionally, we found no difference in tyrosine hydroxylase expression in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Our data suggest that reducing 25(OH)D serum levels in mice has no effect on the vulnerability of nigral dopaminergic neurons in vivo in this model system of parkinsonism.
High affinity peptide neurotoxins are effective agents for integrating technological advances with biological inquiries. Both chlorotoxin (CTX) and dendrotoxin-1 (DTX-1) are peptide neurotoxins demonstrated to bind targets expressed by glioma cancer cells and are suitable ligands for quantum dot (QD) live cell investigations. Here, we present dual labeling of endogenously expressed cellular proteins within living cells utilizing high affinity peptide neurotoxins conjugated to QDs. Multiplexing experiments reveal quantifiable evidence that CTX and DTX-1 conjugated QDs may potentially be used as a live assessment of markers toward identification of cancer cell presence.
Manganese is an essential nutrient, integral to proper metabolism of amino acids, proteins and lipids. Excessive environmental exposure to manganese can produce extrapyramidal symptoms similar to those observed in Parkinson's disease (PD). We used in vivo and in vitro models to examine cellular and circuitry alterations induced by manganese exposure. Primary mesencephalic cultures were treated with 10-800 microM manganese chloride which resulted in dramatic changes in the neuronal cytoskeleton even at subtoxic concentrations. Using cultures from mice with red fluorescent protein driven by the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter, we found that dopaminergic neurons were more susceptible to manganese toxicity. To understand the vulnerability of dopaminergic cells to chronic manganese exposure, mice were given i.p. injections of MnCl(2) for 30 days. We observed a 20% reduction in TH-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) following manganese treatment. Quantification of Nissl bodies revealed a widespread reduction in SNpc cell numbers. Other areas of the basal ganglia were also altered by manganese as evidenced by the loss of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 in the striatum. These studies suggest that acute manganese exposure induces cytoskeletal dysfunction prior to degeneration and that chronic manganese exposure results in neurochemical dysfunction with overlapping features to PD.
Lipid peroxidation of docosahexaenoic (22:6; n-3) acid (DHA) is elevated in the CNS in patients with Alzheimer's disease and in animal models of seizure and ethanol withdrawal. One product of DHA oxidation is trans-4-hydroxy-2-hexenal (HHE), a six carbon analog of the n-6 fatty acid derived trans-4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE). In this work, we studied the neurotoxic potential of HHE. HHE and HNE were toxic to primary cultures of cerebral cortical neurons with LD(50)'s of 23 and 18 micromol/L, respectively. Toxicity was prevented by the addition of thiol scavengers. HHE and HNE depleted neuronal GSH content identically with depletion observed with 10 micromol/L of either compound. Using an antibody raised against HHE-protein adducts, we show that HHE modified specific proteins of 75, 50, and 45 kDa in concentration- and time-dependent manners. The time-dependent formation of HHE differed from that of F4-neuroprostanes following in vitro DHA oxidation likely as a result of the different oxidation pathways involved. Using purified mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase ALDH5A, we found that HHE was oxidized 6.5-fold less efficiently than HNE. Our data demonstrate that HHE and HNE have similarities but also differences in their neurotoxic mechanisms and metabolism.
Neurons maintain relatively high intracellular concentrations of ascorbic acid, which is achieved primarily by the activity of the sodium-dependent vitamin C transporter SVCT2. In this work, we studied the mechanisms by which neuronal cells in culture transport and maintain ascorbate as well as whether this system contributes to maturation of neuronal function and cellular defense against oxidative stress and excitotoxic injury. We found that the SVCT2 helps to maintain high intracellular ascorbate levels, normal ascorbate transport kinetics, and activity-dependent ascorbate recycling. Immunocytochemistry studies revealed that SVCT2 is expressed primarily in the axons of mature hippocampal neurons in culture. In the absence of SVCT2, hippocampal neurons exhibited stunted neurite outgrowth, less glutamate receptor clustering, and reduced spontaneous neuronal activity. Finally, hippocampal cultures from SVCT2-deficient mice showed increased susceptibility to oxidative damage and N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced excitotoxicity. Our results revealed that maintenance of intracellular ascorbate as a result of SVCT2 activity is crucial for neuronal development, functional maturation, and antioxidant responses.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
The body of evidence indicating that oligomers of amyloid beta(1-42) (Abeta(1-42)) produce toxicity to neurons, together with our demonstration that prostaglandin H(2) (PGH(2)) oligomerizes amyloid beta(1-42), led to the examination of the neurotoxicity of amyloid beta(1-42) treated with PGH(2). The neurotoxic effects of Abeta(1-42) incubated with PGH(2) was examined in primary cultures of cerebral neurons of mice, monitoring the reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazole-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) as an indicator of cell toxicity. Whereas Abeta(1-42) itself, incubated for 24 h, has little or no effect on MTT reduction, Abeta(1-42) 24 h after exposure to PGH(2) produced a marked inhibition of MTT reduction, comparable with the inhibition resulting from Abeta(1-42) that has been oligomerized by incubation for 6 days. Similar results were obtained when Abeta(1-42) was incubated with levuglandin E(2) (LGE(2)), a reactive aldehyde formed by spontaneous rearrangement of PGH(2). The oligomers formed from reaction of Abeta(1-42) with LGE(2) exhibit immunochemical similarity with amyloid-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs), as determined by analysis of the products of reaction of Abeta(1-42) with LGE(2) using western blotting with an antibody that is selective for ADDLs.
Parkinson's disease is a complex neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the death of brain dopamine neurons. In mammals, dopamine neuronal degeneration can be triggered through exposure to neurotoxins accumulated by the presynaptic dopamine transporter (DAT), including 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium. We have established a system for the pharmacological and genetic evaluation of neurotoxin-induced dopamine neuronal death in Caenorhabditis elegans. Brief (1 h) exposure of green fluorescent protein-tagged, living worms to 6-OHDA causes selective degeneration of dopamine neurons. We demonstrate that agents that interfere with DAT function protect against 6-OHDA toxicity. 6-OHDA-triggered neural degeneration does not require the CED-3/CED-4 cell death pathway, but is abolished by the genetic disruption of the C. elegans DAT.