Domoic acid is a potent neurotoxin to neonatal rats.
ABSTRACT Domoic acid induces a time-dependent neuroexcitotoxic effect in neonatal rats characterized by hyperactivity, stereotypic scratching, convulsions, and death with observable behaviors occurring at exposures 40 times lower by body weight in neonates than reported in adults. Low doses of domoic acid (0.1 mg/kg) induced c-fos in the central nervous system which was inhibited in part by 2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid, an NMDA receptor antagonist. Domoic acid caused no evidence of structural alteration in the brain of neonates as assessed by Nissel staining and cupric silver histochemistry. Domoic acid induced reproducible behavioral effects at doses as low as 0.05 mg/kg and induced seizures doses as low as 0.2 mg/kg. Determination of serum domoic acid levels after 60 min exposure indicated that serum levels of domoic acid in the neonates corresponded closely to the serum levels that induce similar symptoms in adult rats and mice. We conclude that neonatal rats are highly sensitive to the neuroexcitatory and lethal effects of domoic acid and that the increased sensitivity results from higher than expected serum levels of domoic acid. These findings are consistent with other findings that reduced serum clearance of domoic acid is a predisposing factor to domoic acid toxicity.
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ABSTRACT: Domoic acid (DomA) is a naturally occurring shellfish toxin that can induce brain damage in mammalians. Neonates have shown increased sensitivity to DomA-induced toxicity, and prenatal exposure has been associated with e.g. decreased brain GABA levels, and increased glutamate levels. Here, we evaluated DomA-induced toxicity in immature and mature primary cultures of neurons and glial cells from rat cerebellum by measuring the mRNA levels of selected genes. Moreover, we assessed if the induced toxicity was mediated by the activation of the AMPA/KA and/or the NMDA receptor. The expression of all studied neuronal markers was affected after DomA exposure in both immature and mature cultures. However, the mature cultures seemed to be more sensitive to the treatment, as the effects were observed at lower concentrations and at earlier time points than for the immature cultures. The DomA effects were completely prevented by the antagonist of the AMPA/KA receptor (NBQX), while the antagonist of the NMDA receptor (APV) partly blocked the DomA-induced effects. Interestingly, the DomA-induced effect was also partly prevented by the neurotransmitter GABA. DomA exposure also affected the mRNA levels of the astrocytic markers in mature cultures. These DomA-induced effects were reduced by the addition of NBQX, APV, and GABA.Journal of Toxicology 01/2011; 2011:543512.
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ABSTRACT: Due to lack of knowledge only a few industrial chemicals have been identified as developmental neurotoxicants. Current developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) guidelines (OECD and EPA) are based entirely on in vivo studies that are both time consuming and costly. Consequently, there is a high demand to develop alternative in vitro methods for initial screening to prioritize chemicals for further DNT testing. One of the most promising tools for neurotoxicity assessment is the measurement of neuronal electrical activity using micro-electrode arrays (MEAs) that provides a functional and neuronal specific endpoint that until now has been used mainly to detect acute neurotoxicity. Here, electrical activity measurements were evaluated to be a suitable endpoint for the detection of potential developmental neurotoxicants. Initially, primary cortical neurons grown on MEA chips were characterized for different cell markers over time, using immunocytochemistry. Our results show that primary cortical neurons could be a promising in vitro model for DNT testing since some of the most critical neurodevelopment processes such as progenitor cell commitment, proliferation and differentiation of astrocytes and maturation of neurons are present. To evaluate if electrical activity could be a suitable endpoint to detect chemicals with DNT effects, our model was exposed to domoic acid (DomA), a potential developmental neurotoxicant for up to 4 weeks. Long-term exposure to a low concentration (50nM) of DomA increased the basal spontaneous electrical activity as measured by spike and burst rates. Moreover, the effect induced by the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline was significantly lower in the DomA treated cultures than in the untreated ones. The MEA measurements indicate that chronic exposure to DomA changed the spontaneous electrical activity leading to the possible neuronal mal functioning. The obtained results suggest that the MEAs could be a useful tool to identify compounds with DNT potential.NeuroToxicology 11/2010; 32(1):158-68. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Domoic acid (DA), an excitatory amino acid produced by diatoms belonging to the genus Pseudo-nitzschia, is a glutamate analog responsible for the neurologic condition referred to as amnesic shellfish poisoning. To date, the renal effects of DA have been underappreciated, although renal filtration is the primary route of systemic elimination and the kidney expresses ionotropic glutamate receptors. To characterize the renal effects of DA, we administered either a neurotoxic dose of DA or doses below the recognized limit of toxicity to adult Sv128/Black Swiss mice. DA preferentially accumulated in the kidney and elicited marked renal vascular and tubular damage consistent with acute tubular necrosis, apoptosis, and renal tubular cell desquamation, with toxic vacuolization and mitochondrial swelling as hallmarks of the cellular damage. Doses≥0.1 mg/kg DA elevated the renal injury biomarkers kidney injury molecule-1 and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, and doses≥0.005 mg/kg induced the early response genes c-fos and junb. Coadministration of DA with the broad spectrum excitatory amino acid antagonist kynurenic acid inhibited induction of c-fos, junb, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin. These findings suggest that the kidney may be susceptible to excitotoxic agonists, and renal effects should be considered when examining glutamate receptor activation. Additionally, these results indicate that DA is a potent nephrotoxicant, and potential renal toxicity may require consideration when determining safe levels for human exposure.Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 02/2014; · 8.99 Impact Factor