Use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) for their antimicrobial properties is widespread. Much of the previous work on the toxicity of AgNPs has been conducted in vitro or following oral or intravenous administration in vivo. Intranasal (IN) instillation of AgNPs mimics inhalation exposure and allows further exploration of the toxicity of these particles via respiratory tract exposure. The present study involved 1) single-dose exposures to assess tissue distribution and toxicity and 2) repeated exposures to assess behavioral effects of IN AgNP exposure (nominally uncoated 25 nm AgNP). AgNP deposition was localized in the liver, gut-associated lymphoid tissue, and brain. Decrease cellularity in spleen follicles was observed in treated mice, along with changes in cell number and populations in the spleen. The splenic GSH:GSSG ratio was also reduced following AgNP exposure. Expression of the oxidative stress-responsive gene Hmox1 was elevated in the hippocampus, but not cortex of treated mice, as was the level of HMOX1 protein. Mice receiving 7 days of IN exposure to 50 mg/kg AgNPs exhibited similar learning- and memory-related behaviors to control mice, except that treated mice spent significantly less time in the target quadrant of the Morris Water Maze during the acquisition phase probe trial. These findings indicate systemic distribution and toxicity following IN administration of AgNPs.
The incidence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) correlates with environmental exposure to pesticides, such as the organochlorine insecticide, dieldrin. Previous studies found an increased concentration of the pesticide in the striatal region of the brains of PD patients and also that dieldrin adversely affects cellular processes associated with PD. These processes include mitochondrial function and reactive oxygen species production. However, the mechanism and specific cellular targets responsible for dieldrin-mediated cellular dysfunction and the structural components of dieldrin contributing to its toxicity (toxicophore) have not been fully defined. In order to identify the toxicophore of dieldrin, a structure–activity approach was used, with the toxicity profiles of numerous analogues of dieldrin (including aldrin, endrin, and cis-aldrin diol) assessed in PC6-3 cells. The MTT and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays were used to monitor cell viability and membrane permeability after treatment with each compound. Cellular assays monitoring ROS production and extracellular dopamine metabolite levels were also used. Structure and stereochemistry for dieldrin were found to be very important for toxicity and other end points measured. Small changes in structure for dieldrin (e.g., comparison to the stereoisomer endrin) yielded significant differences in toxicity. Interestingly, the cis-diol metabolite of dieldrin was found to be significantly more toxic than the parent compound. Disruption of dopamine catabolism yielded elevated levels of the neurotoxin, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetaldehyde, for many organochlorines. Comparisons of the toxicity profiles for each dieldrin analogue indicated a structure-specific effect important for elucidating the mechanisms of dieldrin neurotoxicity.
Manganese (Mn) is an essential element but neurotoxic at higher exposure levels. The effects of Mn overexposure (MnOE) on hippocampal and striatal-dependent learning and memory in rats were tested in combination with iron deficiency (FeD) and developmental stress that often co-occur with MnOE. Moderate FeD affects up to 15% of U.S. children and developmental stress is common in lower socio-economic areas where MnOE occurs. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats and their litters were housed in cages with or without (barren cage (BAR)) standard bedding from embryonic day (E)7 to postnatal day (P)28. Dams were fed a 90% FeD or iron sufficient (FeS) diet from E15-P28. Within each litter, separate offspring were treated with 100 mg/kg Mn (MnOE) or vehicle (VEH) by gavage on alternate days from P4-28. Offspring were tested as adults in the Morris and Cincinnati water mazes. FeD and developmental stress interactively impaired spatial learning in the Morris water maze. Developmental stress and MnOE impaired learning and memory in both mazes. MnOE resulted in reduced CA1 hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and increased levels of α-synuclein. Preweaning MnOE results in cognitive deficits on multiple domains of learning and memory accompanied by impaired LTP and α-synuclein changes, effects worsened by developmental stress.
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