Effect of grape seed proanthocyanidin extracts on methylmercury-induced neurotoxicity in rats.
ABSTRACT As a highly toxic environmental pollutant, methylmercury (MeHg) can cause neurotoxicity in animals and humans. Considering the antioxidant property of grape seed proanthocyanidin extracts (GSPE), this study was aimed to evaluate the effect of GSPE on MeHg-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Rats were exposed to MeHg by intraperitoneal injection (4, 12 μmol/kg, respectively) and GSPE was administered by gavage (250 mg/kg) 2 h later. After a 4-week treatment, phosphate-activated glutaminase, glutamine synthetase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities, glutamate, glutamine, malondialdehyde and glutathione contents in cerebral cortex were measured. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis were also estimated in cells. The results showed that the MeHg-induced neurotoxicity was significantly attenuated. GSPE significantly decreased the production of ROS, counteracted oxidative damage and increased the antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes activities in rats prior to MeHg exposure. Moreover, the effects on the rate of apoptotic cells and the disturbance of glutamate homeostasis were correspondingly modulated. These observations highlighted the potential of GSPE in offering protection against MeHg-induced neurotoxicity.
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ABSTRACT: Plants of the genus Polygala have been shown to possess protective effects against neuronal death and cognitive impairments in neurodegenerative disorders related to excitotoxicity. Moreover, previous reports from our group have shown the neuroprotective effects of the plant Polygala paniculata against methylmercury (MeHg)-induced neurotoxicity. In this work, we have examined the potential protective effects of three compounds (7-prenyloxy-6-methoxycoumarin, quercetin, and 1,5-dihidroxi-2,3-dimethoxy xanthone) from Polygala species against MeHg- and mercuric chloride (HgCl2)-induced disruption of mitochondrial function under in vitro conditions using mitochondrial-enriched fractions from mouse brain. MeHg and HgCl2 (10-100 microM) significantly decreased mitochondrial viability; this phenomenon was positively correlated to mercurial-induced glutathione oxidation. Among the isolated compounds, only quercetin (100-300 microM) prevented mercurial-induced disruption of mitochondrial viability. Moreover, quercetin, which did not display any chelating effect on MeHg or HgCl2, prevented mercurial-induced glutathione oxidation. The present results suggest that the protective effects of quercetin against mercurial-induced mitochondrial dysfunction is related to the removal of oxidant species generated in the presence of either MeHg or HgCl2. Reinforcing this hypothesis, MeHg and HgCl2 increased the production of hydrogen peroxide in the brain mitochondria, as well as the levels of malondialdehyde. These oxidative phenomena were prevented by co-incubation with quercetin or catalase. These results are the first to show the involvement of hydrogen peroxide as a crucial molecule related to the toxic effects of both organic and inorganic mercurials in brain mitochondria. In addition, the study is the first to show the protective effect of quercetin against mercurial-induced toxicity, pointing to its capability to counteract mercurial-dependent hydrogen peroxide generation as a potential molecular mechanism of protection. Taken together, these data render quercetin a promising molecule for pharmacological studies with respects to mercurials' poisoning.Chemical Research in Toxicology 01/2008; 20(12):1919-26. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The ether lipid 1-octadecyl-2-methyl-rac-glicero-3-phosphocholine (ET-18-OCH3) is a membrane interactive drug selectively cytotoxic toward neoplastic cells compared to normal cells. It induces apoptosis in human leukemic HL-60, T-lymphoid and in U937 myeloid cell lines and stimulates NO biosynthesis in cultured rat astrocytes. We have found a double action of ET-18-OCH3 in astrocytes which, at low doses, promotes a moderate induction of heat shock proteins of 70 kDa (HSP70) and the increase of glutamine synthetase (GS) activity. Conversely, at high doses, the drug shows toxic effects on astrocytes inducing decrease in GS activity, low molecular weight DNA formation, and release of lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) in the culture medium. Its analog compound platelet-activating factor (PAF) shares some of these biological aspects.Brain Research 03/1998; · 2.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress (OS) has been implicated in various degenerative diseases in aging. In an attempt to quantify OS in a cell model, we examined OS induced by incubating for 30 min with various free radical generators in PC12 cells by using the dichlorofluorescein (DCF) assay, modified for use by a fluorescent microplate reader. The nonfluorescent fluorescin derivatives (dichlorofluorescin, DCFH), after being oxidized by various oxidants, will become DCF and emit fluorescence. By quantifying the fluorescence, we were able to quantify the OS. Our results indicated that the fluorescence varied linearly with increasing concentrations (between 0.1 and 1 mM) of H2O2 and 2,2'-azobios(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (AAPH; a peroxyl radical generator). By contrast, the fluorescence varied as a nonlinear response to increasing concentrations of 3-morpholinosydnonimine hydrochloride (SIN-1; a peroxynitrite generator), sodium nitroprusside (SNP; a nitric oxide generator), and dopamine. Dopamine had a biphasic effect; it decreased the DCF fluorescence, thus acting as an antioxidant, at concentrations <500 microM in cells, but acted as a pro-oxidant by increasing the fluorescence at 1 mM. While SNP was not a strong pro-oxidant, SIN-1 was the most potent pro-oxidant among those tested, inducing a 70 times increase of fluorescence at a concentration of 100 microM compared with control. Collectively, due to its indiscriminate nature to various free radicals, DCF can be very useful in quantifying overall OS in cells, especially when used in conjunction with a fluorescent microplate reader. This method is reliable and efficient for evaluating the potency of pro-oxidants and can be used to evaluate the efficacy of antioxidants against OS in cells.Free Radical Biology and Medicine 10/1999; 27(5-6):612-6. · 5.27 Impact Factor