Exposure of Lead (Pb), a known neurotoxicant, can impair spatial learning and memory probably via impairing the hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) as well as hippocampal neuronal injury. Activation of hippocampal microglia also impairs spatial learning and memory. Thus, we raised the hypothesis that activation of microglia is involved in the Pb exposure induced hippocampal LTP impairment and neuronal injury. To test this hypothesis and clarify its underlying mechanisms, we investigated the Pb-exposure on the microglia activation, cytokine release, hippocampal LTP level as well as neuronal injury in in vivo or in vitro model. The changes of these parameters were also observed after pretreatment with minocycline, a microglia activation inhibitor. Long-term low dose Pb exposure (100 ppm for 8 weeks) caused significant reduction of LTP in acute slice preparations, meanwhile, such treatment also significantly increased hippocampal microglia activation as well as neuronal injury. In vitro Pb-exposure also induced significantly increase of microglia activation, up-regulate the release of cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in microglia culture alone as well as neuronal injury in the co-culture with hippocampal neurons. Inhibiting the microglia activation with minocycline significantly reversed the above-mentioned Pb-exposure induced changes. Our results showed that Pb can cause microglia activation, which can up-regulate the level of IL-1β, TNF-α and iNOS, these proinflammatory factors may cause hippocampal neuronal injury as well as LTP deficits.
Lead (Pb) is a well-known heavy metal in nature. Pb can cause pathophysiological changes in several organ systems including central nervous system. Especially, Pb can affect intelligence development and the ability of learning and memory of children. However, the toxic effects and mechanisms of Pb on learning and memory are still unclear. To clarify the mechanisms of Pb-induced neurotoxicity in hippocampus, and its effect on learning and memory, we chose Sprague-Dawley rats (SD-rats) as experimental subjects. We used Morris water maze to verify the ability of learning and memory after Pb treatment. We used immunohistofluorescence and Western blotting to detect the level of tau phosphorylation, accumulation of α-synuclein, autophagy and related signaling molecules in hippocampus. We demonstrated that Pb can cause abnormally hyperphosphorylation of tau and accumulation of α-synuclein, and these can induce hippocampal injury and the ability of learning and memory damage. To provide the new insight into the underlying mechanisms, we showed that Grp78, ATF4, caspase-3, autophagy-related proteins were induced and highly expressed following Pb-exposure. But mTOR signaling pathway was suppressed in Pb-exposed groups. Our results showed that Pb could cause hyperphosphorylation of tau and accumulation of α-synuclein, which could induce ER stress and suppress mTOR signal pathway. These can enhance type II program death (autophgy) and type I program death (apoptosis) in hippocampus, and impair the ability of learning and memory of rats. This is the first evidence showing the novel role of autophagy in the neurotoxicity of Pb.
Background: Neuron apoptosis mediated by hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) in hippocampus is one of the most important factors accounting for the chronic hypobaric hypoxia induced cognitive impairment. As a neuroprotective molecule that is up-regulated in response to various environmental stress, CIRBP was reported to crosstalk with HIF-1α under cellular stress. However, its function under chronic hypobaric hypoxia remains unknown.Objective: In this study, we tried to identify the role of CIRBP in HIF-1α mediated neuron apoptosis under chronic hypobaric hypoxia and find a possible method to maintain its potential neuroprotective in long-term high altitude environmental exposure.Methods: We established a chronic hypobaric hypoxia rat model as well as a tissue culture model where SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to 1% hypoxia. Based on these models, we measured the expressions of HIF-1α and CIRBP under hypoxia exposure and examined the apoptosis of neurons by TUNEL immunofluorescence staining and western blot analysis of apoptosis related proteins. In addition, by establishing HIF-1α shRNA and pEGFP-CIRBP plasmid transfected cells, we confirmed the role of HIF-1α in chronic hypoxia induced neuron apoptosis and identified the influence of CIRBP over-expression upon HIF-1α and neuron apoptosis in the process of exposure. Furthermore, we measured the expression of the reported hypoxia related miRNAs in both models and the influence of miRNAs' over-expression/knock-down upon CIRBP in the process of HIF-1α mediated neuron apoptosis.Results: HIF-1α expression as well as neuron apoptosis was significantly elevated by chronic hypobaric hypoxia both in vivo and in vitro. CIRBP was induced in the early stage of exposure (3d/7d); however as the exposure was prolonged (21d), CIRBP level of the hypoxia group became significantly lower than that of control. In addition, HIF-1α knockdown significantly decreased neuron apoptosis under hypoxia, suggesting HIF-1α may be pro-apoptotic in the process of exposure. CIRBP over-expression significantly suppressed HIF-1α up-regulation in hypoxia and inhibited HIF-1α mediated neuron apoptosis. Interestingly, miR-23a was also induced by hypoxia exposure and showed the same changing tendency with CIRBP (increasing in 3d/7d, decreasing in 21d). In addition, over-expressing miR-23a up-regulated CIRBP, down-regulated HIF-1α and attenuated neuron apoptosis.Conclusion: Cold inducible RNA binding protein is involved in chronic hypoxia induced neuron apoptosis by down-regulating HIF-1α expression, and MiR-23a may be an important tool to maintain CIRBP level and function.
BackgroundNoise exposure (NE) is a severe modern health hazard that induces hearing impairment. However, the noise-induced ultrastructural changes of blood-labyrinth barrier (BLB) and the potential involvements of tight junction proteins (TJP) remain inconclusive.We investigated the effects of NE on not only the ultrastructure of cochlea and permeability of BLB but also the expression of TJP within the guinea pig cochlea.ResultsMale albino guinea pigs were exposed to white noise for 4 h or 2 consecutive days (115 dB sound pressure level, 6 hours per day) and the hearing impairments and light microscopic change of BLB were evaluated with auditory brainstem responses (ABR) and the cochlear sensory epithelia surface preparation, respectively. The cochlear ultrastructure and BLB permeability after NE 2d were revealed with transmission electron microscope (TEM) and lanthanum nitrate-tracing techniques, respectively. The potential alterations of TJPs Claudin-5 and Occludin were quantified with immunohistochemistry and western blot. NE induced significant hearing impairment and NE 2d contributed to significant outer hair cell (OHC) loss that is most severe in the first row of outer hair cells. Furthermore, the loosen TJ and an obvious leakage of lanthanum nitrate particles beneath the basal lamina were revealed with TEM. Moreover, a dose-dependent decrease of Claudin-5 and Occludin was observed in the cochlea after NE.ConclusionsAll these findings suggest that both decrease of Claudin-5 and Occludin and increased BLB permeability are involved in the pathologic process of noise-induced hearing impairment; however, the causal relationship and underlying mechanisms should be further investigated.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12868-014-0136-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Lead (Pb) is a well-known neurotoxicant and a risk factor for neurologic disorders. The blood brain barrier (BBB) plays an important role in the maintenance of optimal brain function. BBB is a target of Pb, and studies have shown that Pb induced barrier loss and decreased the expression of tight junction proteins, but the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important components of extracellular matrix proteasome and can affect the remodeling and degradation of tight junction (TJ). The role of MMP-2/9 in Pb-induced damage of BBB is not known. In our study, we used an in vitro BBB model by co-culturing human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (ECV304 cells) with rat glioma cells (C6 cells), and detected the expression of related TJ proteins and MMP-2/9. Our results showed that Pb increased the permeability of the in vitro BBB model, and stimulating C6 cells with Pb could decrease the protein level of ZO-1 (zonula occludens-1) and occludin in ECV304 cells. Pb could increase the mRNA and protein level of MMP-2/9 in C6 cells, and inhibition of MMP-2/9 by SB-3CT could partially alleviate Pb-induced down-regulation of TJ proteins in ECV304 cells and Pb-induced barrier damage in the in vitro BBB model. Our research established potential therapeutic targets for modulating and preserving optimal BBB function.
Lead (Pb) has long been recognized as a neurodevelopmental toxin. Developing blood-brain barrier (BBB) is known to be a target of Pb neurotoxicity; however, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Recent evidence suggests that intracellular nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase Src regulates tight junctional proteins (TJPs). This study was designed to investigate whether Pb acted on the Src-mediated cascade event leading to an altered TJP expression at BBB. Rats aged 20-22 days were exposed to Pb in drinking water (0, 100, 200, and 300 ppm Pb) for eight weeks. Electron microscopic and Western blot analyses revealed a severe leakage of BBB and significantly decreased expressions of TJP occludin and ZO-1. When cultured brain endothelial RBE4 cells were exposed to 10μM Pb for 24 h, expressions of phosphor-Src and an upstream regulator GRP78 were significantly increased by 6.42-fold and 8.29-fold (p < 0.01), respectively. Inactivation of Src pathway by a Src-specific inhibitor reversed Pb-induced downregulation of occludin, but not ZO-1; small interfering RNA knockdown of GRP78 attenuated Pb-induced Src phosphorylation and occludin reduction. Furthermore, Pb exposure caused redistribution of GRP78 from endoplasmic reticulum to cytosol and toward cell member. However, the data from immunoneutralization studies did not show the involvement of cell-surface GRP78 in regulating Src phosphorylation upon Pb exposure, suggesting that the cytosolic GRP78, rather than cell-surface GRP78, was responsible to Pb-induced Src activation and ensuing occludin reduction. Taken together, this study provides the evidence of a novel linkage of GRP78, Src activation to downregulation of occludin, and BBB disruption during Pb exposure.
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