Nicholas Fletcher

Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Stockholm, Sweden

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Publications (6)30.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this study, differences in sensitivity between Long-Evans (L-E; dioxin sensitive) and Han/Wistar (H/W; dioxin resistant) rats following long-term exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) were statistically and quantitatively investigated. Sensitivity differences were analyzed by comparing benchmark doses (BMDs) for the two strains considering a number of toxicological endpoints including data on body and organ weights, hepatic foci, hepatic CYP1A1 induction, as well as tissue retinoid levels. Dose-response relationships for L-E and H/W rats, described by the Hill function, were assumed to be parallel, which was supported according to statistical analysis. It was concluded that L-E and H/W rats differed statistically in their response to TCDD treatment for most of the parameters investigated. Differences between the strains were most pronounced for hepatic foci; L-E rats were approximately 20-40 times more sensitive than H/W rats. For body and organ weight parameters, L-E rats were approximately 10-20 times more sensitive than H/W rats. For retinoid parameters and hepatic CYP1A1 induction, estimated differences between the strains were generally about 5-fold, and associated with a low uncertainty. In conclusion, the present study employs a dose-response modeling approach suitable for statistical evaluation of strain and species differences in sensitivity to chemical exposure. The study demonstrates quantitatively the differences in sensitivity between the L-E and H/W rat strains following long-term TCDD exposure.
    Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 02/2010; 57(2-3):136-45. DOI:10.1016/j.yrtph.2010.01.006 · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroferritinopathy is a progressive potentially treatable adult-onset movement disorder caused by mutations in the ferritin light chain gene (FTL1). Features overlap with common extrapyramidal disorders: idiopathic torsion dystonia, idiopathic Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, but the phenotype and natural history have not been defined. We studied a genetically homogeneous group of 41 subjects with the 460InsA mutation in FTL1, documenting the presentation, clinical course, biochemistry and neuroimaging. The mean age of onset was 39.4 years (SD = 13.3, range 13-63), beginning with chorea in 50%, focal lower limb dystonia in 42.5% and parkinsonism in 7.5%. The majority reported a family history of a movement disorder often misdiagnosed as Huntington's disease. The disease progressed relentlessly, becoming generalized over a 5-10 year period, eventually leading to aphonia, dysphagia and severe motor disability with subcortical/frontal cognitive dysfunction as a late feature. A characteristic action-specific facial dystonia was common (65%), and in 63% there was asymmetry throughout the disease course. Serum ferritin levels were low in the majority of males and post-menopausal females, but within normal limits for pre-menopausal females. MR brain imaging was abnormal on all affected individuals and one presymptomatic carrier. In conclusion, isolated parkinsonism is unusual in neuroferritinopathy, and unlike Huntington's disease, cognitive changes are absent or subtle in the early stages. Depressed serum ferritin is common and provides a useful screening test in routine practice, and gradient echo brain MRI will identify all symptomatic cases.
    Brain 02/2007; 130(Pt 1):110-9. DOI:10.1093/brain/awl319 · 10.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Opioid peptide transmission is enhanced in the striatum of animal models and Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with levodopa-induced motor complications. Opioid receptor antagonists reduce levodopa-induced dyskinesia in primate models of PD; however, clinical trials to date have been inconclusive. A double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover design study in 14 patients with PD experiencing motor fluctuations was carried out, using the non-subtype-selective opioid receptor antagonist naloxone. Naloxone did not reduce levodopa-induced dyskinesia. The duration of action of levodopa was increased significantly by 17.5%. Non-subtype-selective opioid receptor antagonism may prove useful in the treatment of levodopa-related wearing-off in PD but not in dyskinesia.
    Movement Disorders 06/2004; 19(5):554-60. DOI:10.1002/mds.10693 · 5.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo- p-dioxin (TCDD) is known to influence vitamin A homeostasis. In order to investigate the mechanism behind this retinoid disruption, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to TCDD at doses ranging from 0.1 to 100 micro g/kg body weight, and were killed 3 days after exposure. Additional groups of rats were killed 1 and 28 days after a single oral dose of 10 micro g TCDD/kg body weight. Serum, kidney, and liver were investigated for retinoid levels, as well as gene expression and enzyme activities relevant for retinoid metabolism. Besides the well known effects of TCDD on apolar retinoids, i.e. decreased hepatic and increased renal retinyl ester (RE) levels, we have found dose-dependent elevation of all- trans-retinoic acid (all- trans-RA) levels in all investigated tissues. In the liver, 9- cis-4-oxo-13,14-dihydro-RA was drastically decreased by TCDD in a dose-dependent manner. In serum, cis-isomers of all- trans-RA, including 9,13-di- cis-RA, were significantly reduced already at the lowest dose level. Protein and mRNA levels of cellular retinol binding protein I (CRBP-I) in liver or kidneys were not significantly altered by TCDD exposure at doses at which retinoid levels were affected, making CRBP-I an unlikely candidate to account for the alterations in retinoid metabolism caused by TCDD. The expression and activities of relevant cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes with potential roles in all- trans-RA synthesis and/or degradation (CYP1A1, 1A2, and 2B1/2) were also monitored. A possible role of CYP1A1 in TCDD-induced all- trans-RA synthesis is suggested from the time-course relationship between CYP1A1 activity and all- trans-RA levels in liver and kidney. The significant alteration of the all- trans-RA metabolism has the potential to contribute significantly to the toxicity of TCDD.
    Archive für Toxikologie 08/2003; 77(7):371-83. DOI:10.1007/s00204-003-0457-8 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin A (retinoids) has an essential role in development and throughout life of humans and animals. Consequently, effects of the environmental pollutant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on retinoid metabolism may be contributory to its toxicity. This study was performed to clarify the mechanism behind dioxin-induced retinyl ester formation in the rat kidney. In addition we investigated the possible role of CYP1A1 in dioxin-induced all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) formation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to a single oral dose of TCDD in a combined dose-response and time-course study, with doses ranging from 0.1 to 100 microg/kg bw and time points from 1 to 28 days. Levels of atRA and the expression of two potentially retinoic acid (RA)-controlled proteins critically involved in retinoid storage regulation, lecithin: retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) and cellular retinol binding protein I (CRBP I), were analyzed in liver and kidney. The expression and activity of cytochrome P4501A1 (assayed as ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity) was assessed to gain insight into its potential role in RA synthesis. There was a significant increase in LRAT mRNA expression in the kidney, whereas no such increase could be observed in the liver, despite significantly increased atRA levels in both tissues. This suggests a tissue-specific regulation of LRAT by TCDD that may be dependent on other factors than atRA. Neither CRBP I mRNA nor protein levels were altered by TCDD. The time-course relationship between CYP1A1 activity and atRA levels in liver and kidney does not exclude a role of CYP1A1 in TCDD-induced RA synthesis. The observed altered regulation of the retinoid-metabolizing enzyme LRAT, together with the low doses and short time required by TCDD to change tissue RA levels, suggest that enzymes involved in retinoid metabolism are specific and/or direct targets of TCDD.
    Chemico-Biological Interactions 04/2003; 145(1):1-16. DOI:10.1016/S0009-2797(02)00157-6 · 2.98 Impact Factor
  • N Fletcher, A Hanberg, H Håkansson
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    ABSTRACT: 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-treated animals show altered retinoid homeostasis and exhibit signs of toxicity similar to those of vitamin A-deficient animals. In this study we established dose-response curves for sublethal oral doses of TCDD and hepatic vitamin A gain in four rodent species. This was done to evaluate any potential correlation between decreased hepatic vitamin A gain and other TCDD-induced effects, particularly depressed body weight gain and hepatic CYP1A induction. Young Hartley guinea pigs, Sprague-Dawley rats, C57BL/6 mice, and Golden Syrian hamsters were given single oral doses of TCDD at up to 2.5, 100, 1000, and 1000 microg/kg bw, respectively, and killed 28 days after treatment. Hepatic vitamin A gain was decreased 25% compared to controls at estimated doses of 0.1, 0.9, 1.1 and 3.6 microg/kg bw in guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice, respectively. CYP1A induction and hepatic vitamin A gain were affected at similar dose levels and showed similar, but inverse dose-response curves in each of the four species, consistent with the hypothesis that altered vitamin A homeostasis is Ah-receptor mediated. In addition, there was an apparent correlation between the dose-response curves for decreased hepatic vitamin A gain and decreased body weight gain in all species. Taken together with the known importance of vitamin A in body weight regulation, this result was consistent with a contributing role for altered retinoid homeostasis in the wasting syndrome induced by TCDD.
    Toxicological Sciences 08/2001; 62(1):166-75. DOI:10.1093/toxsci/62.1.166 · 4.48 Impact Factor