[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quantum dots (QDs) have shown great promise for applications in biology and medicine, which is being challenged by their potential nanotoxicity. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by QDs are believed to be partially responsible for QD cytotoxicity. Cytoplasmic Ca(2+) plays an important role in the development of ROS injury. Here we found unmodified cadmium selenium (CdSe) QDs could elevate cytoplasmic calcium levels ([Ca(2+)](i)) in primary cultures of hippocampal neurons, involved both extracellular Ca(2+) influx and internal Ca(2+) release. More specifically, verapamil and mibefradil (L-type and T-type calcium channels antagonists, respectively) failed to prevent extracellular Ca(2+) influx under QD insult, while omega-conotoxin (N-type antagonist) could partially block this Ca(2+) influx. Surprisingly, this Ca(2+) influx could be well blocked by voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) antagonist, tetrodotoxin (TTX). QD-induced internal Ca(2+) release could be avoided by clonazepam, a specific inhibitor of mitochondrial sodium-calcium exchangers (MNCX), and also by TTX. Furthermore, dantrolene, an antagonist of ryanodine (Ry) receptors in endoplasmic reticulum (ER), almost abolished internal Ca(2+) release, while 2-APB [inositol triphosphate (IP(3)) receptors antagonist] failed to block this Ca(2+) release, indicating that released Ca(2+) from mitochondria, which was induced by extracellular Na(+) influx, further triggered much more Ca(2+) release from ER. Our results imply that more research on the biocompatibility and biosafety of QD is both warranted and necessary.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cholinergic system is believed to be associated with learning and memory functions. Lead (Pb2+) is a well-known neurotoxic metal that causes irreversible damage to the central nervous system (CNS). To investigate whether Pb2+ interferes with cholinergic modulation, we examined the effects of carbachol (CCh), a muscarinic cholinergic agonist, on synaptic transmission and plasticity in the CA1 area of the hippocampus of developmentally Pb2+-exposed rats. The results showed that: (1) In both control and Pb2+-exposed rats, 0.1 microM CCh significantly enhanced tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP), while 5 microM CCh induced a reversible depression of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs). However, both the enhancement of LTP and depression of fEPSPs were significantly smaller in Pb2+-exposed rats than in controls, suggesting that the extent of the effect of CCh on the cholinergic system was depressed by Pb2+. (2) In Pb2+-exposed rats, the enhancement of LTP induced by 0.1 microM CCh was attenuated by pirenzepine, a M1AChR antagonist, but was not affected by methoctramine tetrahydrochloride (M-105), a M2/4AChR antagonist. The depression of fEPSPs induced by 5 microM CCh was reduced by either pirenzepine or M-105. (3) Furthermore, paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) was not affected by 0.1 microM CCh in control and Pb2+-exposed rats but was increased by 5 microM CCh in either group; the increase in PPF was less pronounced in Pb2+-treated when compared to control rats. These results suggested that cholinergic modulation could be impaired by Pb2+, and this kind of impairment might occur via different mAChR subtypes. Our study delineated the effects of Pb2+ on muscarinic modulation, and this might be one of the underlying mechanisms by which Pb2+ impairs learning and memory.
Archiv für Experimentelle Pathologie und Pharmakologie 09/2008; 379(1):37-45. · 2.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The growing applications of nanotechnologic products, such as quantum dots (QDs), increase the likelihood of exposure. Furthermore, their accumulation in the bioenvironment and retention in cells and tissues are arousing increasing worries about the potentially harmful side effects of these nanotechnologic products. Previous studies concerning QD cytotoxicity focused on the reactive oxygen species produced by QDs. Cellular calcium homeostasis dysregulation caused by QDs may be also responsible for QD cytotoxicity. Meanwhile the interference of QDs with voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) current (I(Na)) may lead to changes in electrical activity and worsen neurotoxicologic damage.
We aimed to investigate the potential for neurotoxicity of cadmium selenium QDs in a hippocampal neuronal culture model, focusing on cytoplasmic calcium levels and VGSCs function.
We used confocal laser scanning and standard whole-cell patch clamp techniques.
We found that a) QDs induced neuron death dose dependently; b) cytoplasmic calcium levels were elevated for an extended period by QD treatment, which was due to both extracellular calcium influx and internal calcium release from endoplasmic reticulum; and c) QD treatment enhanced activation and inactivation of I(Na), prolonged the time course of activation, slowed I(Na) recovery, and reduced the fraction of available VGSCs.
Results in this study provide new insights into QD toxicology and reveal potential risks of their future applications in biology and medicine.
Environmental Health Perspectives 07/2008; 116(7):915-22. · 7.26 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lead (Pb) is widely recognized as a neurotoxicant. One of the suggested mechanisms of lead neurotoxicity is apoptotic cell death. And the mechanism by which Pb(2+) causes neuronal death is not well understood. The present study sought to examine the obligate nature of cyclin D1/cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4), phosphorylation of its substrate retinoblastoma protein (pRb) and its select upstream signal phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway in the death of primary cultured rat hippocampal neurons evoked by Pb(2+). Our data showed that lead treatment of primary hippocampal cultures results in dose-dependent cell death. Inhibition of CDK4 prevented Pb(2+)-induced neuronal death significantly but was incomplete. In addition, we demonstrated that the levels of cyclin D1 and pRb/p107 were increased during Pb(2+) treatment. These elevated expression persisted up to 48 h, returning to control levels after 72 h. We also presented pharmacological and morphological evidences that cyclin D1/CDK4 and pRb/p107 were required for such kind of neuronal death. Addition of the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 (30 microM) or wortmannin (100 nM) significantly rescued the cultured hippocampal neurons from death caused by Pb(2+). And that Pb(2+)-elicited phospho-AKT (Ser473) participated in the induction of cyclin D1 and partial pRb/p107 expression. These results provide evidences that cell cycle elements play a required role in the death of neurons evoked by Pb(2+) and suggest that certain signaling elements upstream of cyclin D1/CDK4 are modified and/or required for this form of neuronal death.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 07/2008; 229(3):351-61. · 3.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell-cycle-related proteins, such as cyclins or cyclin-dependent kinases, may have functions beyond that of cell cycle regulation. The expression and translocation of cyclinD1-CDK4 in post-mitotic neurons indicate that they may have supplementary functions in differentiated neurons that might be associated with neuronal plasticity.
In the present study, our findings showed that the expression of CDK4 was localized mostly in nuclei and cytoplasm of pyramidal cells of CA1 at postnatal day 10 (P10); whereas at P28 staining of CDK4 could be detected predominantly in the cytoplasm but not nuclei. Basal synaptic transmission was normal in the presence of CDK4 inhibitor. Short-term synaptic plasticity (STP) was impaired in CDK4 inhibitor pre-treated slices both from neonatal (P8-15) and adolescent (P21-35) animals; however there was no significant change in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) in slices pre-incubated with the CDK4 inhibitor from adolescent animals. By the treatment of CDK4 inhibitor, the induction or the maintenance of Long-term potentiation (LTP) in response to a strong tetanus and NMDA receptor-dependent long-term depression (LTD) were normal in hippocampus. However, long-term depression (LTD) induced either by group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) agonist or by paired-pulse low-frequency stimulation (PP-LFS) was impaired in CDK4 inhibitor pretreated slices both from neonatal and adolescent animals. But the effects of the CDK4 inhibitor at slices from adolescent animals were not as robust as at slices from neonatal animals.
Our results indicated that the activation of cyclinD1-CDK4 is required for short-term synaptic plasticity and mGluR-dependent LTD, and suggested that this cyclin-dependent kinase may have different roles during the postnatal development in mice hippocampus area CA1.