[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After transient cerebral ischemia and reperfusion (I/R), damaging mechanisms, such as excitotoxicity and oxidative stress, lead to irreversible neurological deficits. The induction of metallothionein-II (MT-II) protein is an endogenous mechanism after I/R. Our aim was to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of MT-II after I/R in rats. Male Wistar rats were transiently occluded at the middle cerebral artery for 2 h, followed by reperfusion. Rats received either MT (10 μ g per rat i.p.) or vehicle after ischemia. Lipid peroxidation (LP) was measured 22 h after reperfusion in frontal cortex and hippocampus; also, neurological deficit was evaluated after ischemia, using the Longa scoring scale. Infarction area was analyzed 72 hours after ischemia. Results showed increased LP in frontal cortex (30.7%) and hippocampus (26.4%), as compared to control group; this effect was fully reversed by MT treatment. Likewise, we also observed a diminished neurological deficit assessed by the Longa scale in those animals treated with MT compared to control group values. The MT-treated group showed a significant (P < 0.05) reduction of 39.9% in the infarction area, only at the level of hippocampus, as compared to control group. Results suggest that MT-II may be a novel neuroprotective treatment to prevent ischemia injury.
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 01/2014; 2014:436429.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Characterization of auto-destructive mechanisms, leading to cell death after spinal cord injury (SCI) is important to prevent further damage to tissue. Heme oxygenase (HO) catalyzes the oxidation of heme to biliverdin and carbon monoxide (CO), as a response to cell damage. Products of HO action have biological effects, as antioxidant biliverdin. We evaluated the changes of HO activity after injury, and the effect of pharmacological treatments with hemin (an inducer) and (Sn)-protoporphyrin (an inhibitor) of HO, upon motor recovery after SCI. Female Wistar rats were submitted to SCI by trauma and sacrificed at several times (2, 4, 8, 12 and 24h) after injury to evaluate HO activity. Additional groups of rats were treated with either hemin or Sn-PPIX, to evaluate motor recovery, spared spinal cord tissue and HO activity. Results showed that HO control activity was increased by effect of SCI, at all times evaluated, as compared to sham group values. Twenty-four h after injury, HO activity was increased 7.2-fold by Hemin treatment, as compared to SCI plus vehicle group values. In addition, animals treated with hemin 2 and 8h after SCI, showed a better motor recovery and higher spared cord tissue, as compared to control group values. Our findings indicate that activation of HO is a beneficial mechanism when attained during the acute phase after SCI.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excitotoxicity due to glutamate receptors (GluRs) overactivation is a leading mechanism of oxidative damage and neuronal death in various diseases. We have shown that dapsone (DDS) was able to reduce both neurotoxicity and seizures associated to the administration of kainic acid (KA), an agonist acting on AMPA/KA receptors (GluK1-GluK5). Recently, it has been shown that phenobarbital (PB) is also able to reduce epileptic activity evoked by that receptor. In the present study, we tested the antioxidative, anticonvulsive and neuroprotective effects of DDS and PB administered alone or in combination upon KA toxicity to rats. Results showed that KA increased lipid peroxidation and diminished reduced glutathione (GSH), 24 h after KA administration and both drugs in combination or individually inhibited these events. Likewise, KA promotes mortality and this event was antagonized by effect of both treatments. Additionally, the behavioral evaluation showed that DDS and PB administered alone or in combination decreased the number of limbic seizures and reduced the percentage of animals showing tonic-clonic seizures versus the control group, which was administered only with KA. Finally, our study demonstrated that all of the treatments prevented the neuronal death of the pyramidal cell layer of hippocampal CA-3. In conclusion, the treatment with DDS and PB administrated alone or in combination exerted antioxidant, anticonvulsive and neuroprotective effects against the neurotoxicity induced by KA in rats, but their effects were not additive. Thus, it may be good options of treatment in diseases such as epilepsy and status epilepicus, administered separately.
Neurochemical Research 06/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied the use of three biocompatible materials obtained by plasma polymerization of pyrrole (PPy), pyrrole doped with iodine (PPy/I) and a copolymer formed with pyrrole and polyethylene glycol (PPy/PEG), implanted, separately, after a complete spinal cord transection in rats. Motor function assessed with the BBB scale and somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) in the implanted rats were studied. Results showed that the highest motor recovery was obtained in rats with PPy/I implants. They also showed a significant reduction in the latency of SEPs. Histological analyses showed no signs of implant rejection; on the contrary, implants based on PPy improved the SEPs conduction and motor function after lesion.
Journal of Materials Science Materials in Medicine 07/2012; 23(10):2583-92. · 2.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lead (Pb), a ubiquitous and potent neurotoxicant, induces several neurophysiological and behavioural changes, while Pb alters the function of multiple organs and systems, it primarily affects the central nervous system. In human adults, encephalopathy resulting from Pb intoxication is often characterized by sleeplessness, poor attention span, vomiting, convulsions and coma; in children, Pb-induced encephalopathy is associated with mental dullness, vomiting, irritability and anorexia; diminished cognitive function resulting in a mental deficit has been also observed during Prolonged exposure to Pb. Pb can produce oxidative stress, disrupt the blood-brain barrier and alter several Ca(2+)-dependent processes, including physiological processes that involve nitric oxide synthesis on central nervous system in development and adult animals. This review summarizes recent evidence showing that Pb can interfere with the production of nitric oxide and can disrupt the function of nitric oxide synthase. Lead interferes with nitric oxide-related physiological mechanisms, and Pb neurotoxicity may affect processes involved in learning and memory.
Journal of molecular histology 04/2012; 43(5):553-63. · 1.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After spinal cord injury (SCI), a complex cascade of pathophysiological processes rapidly damages the nervous tissue. The initial damage spreads to the surrounding tissue by different mechanisms, including oxidative stress. We have recently reported that the induction of metallothionein (MT) protein is an endogenous rapid-response mechanism after SCI. Since the participation of MT in neuroprotective processes after SCI is still unknown, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible neuroprotective effect of exogenously administered MT-II during the acute phase after SCI in rats. Female Wistar rats weighing 200-250g were submitted to spinal cord contusion by means of a computer-controlled device (NYU impactor). Rats received several doses of MT-II (3.2, 10 and 100μg) at 2 and 8h after SCI. Results of the BBB scale were statistically analysed using an ANOVA of repeated-measures, followed by Tukey's test. Among the three doses tested, only 10 and 100μg were able to significantly increase (p<0.05) BBB scale scores eight weeks after SCI from a mean of 7.88 in the control group, to means of 12.63 and 10.88 for the 10 and 100μg doses of MT-II, respectively. The amount of spared tissue was also higher in the groups treated with 10 and 100μg, as compared to the control group values. Results from the present study demonstrate a significant neuroprotective effect of exogenously administered MT-II. Further studies are needed in order to characterize the mechanisms involved in this neuroprotective action.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heavy metals are ubiquitous in the environment and exposure through food and water as well as occupational sources can constitute a potential threat to human health. The mechanisms of heavy metal damage include the production of free radicals that alter mitochondrial activity, affecting cellular types like neurons and muscular fibres. We examined whether rats exposed subchronically via drinking water to low doses of heavy metals can produce alterations in muscle. Results showed that the proportion of ragged red fibres increased in muscle of rats exposed to lead and thallium, likewise slight changes in enzymatic activity of muscular fibres were also observed.
Environmental toxicology and pharmacology. 07/2011; 32(1):107-12.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After spinal cord injury (SCI), a complex cascade of pathophysiological processes increases the primary damage. The inflammatory response plays a key role in this pathology. Recent evidence suggests that myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme produced and released by neutrophils, is of special importance in spreading tissue damage. Dapsone (4,4'-diaminodiphenylsulfone) is an irreversible inhibitor of MPO. Recently, we demonstrated, in a model of brain ischemia/reperfusion, that dapsone has antioxidant, antiinflammatory, and antiapoptotic effects. The effects of dapsone on MPO activity, lipid peroxidation (LP) processes, motor function recovery, and the amount of spared tissue were evaluated in a rat model of SCI. MPO activity had increased 24.5-fold 24 hr after SCI vs. the sham group, and it had diminished by 38% and 19% in the groups treated with dapsone at 3 and 5 hr after SCI, respectively. SCI increased LP by 45%, and this increase was blocked by dapsone. In rats treated with dapsone, a significant motor function recovery (Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan score, BBB) was observed beginning during the first week of evaluation and continuing until the end of the study. Spontaneous recovery 8 weeks after SCI was 9.2 ± 1.12, whereas, in the dapsone-treated groups, it reached 13.6 ± 1.04 and 12.9 ± 1.17. Spared tissue increased by 42% and 33% in the dapsone-treated groups (3 and 5 hr after SCI, respectively) vs. SCI without treatment. Dapsone significantly prevented mortality. The results show that inhibition of MPO by dapsone significantly protected the spinal cord from tissue damage and enhanced motor recovery after SCI.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 03/2011; 89(3):373-80. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was designed to assess the effect of Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) exposure during pregnancy in rats and their correlation with metallothionein (MT). Rats were exposed to either 10 ppm Cd or 300 ppm Pb through drinking water during pregnancy. Both metals were measured in placenta, fetus brain and fetal and maternal blood. MT was quantified in placenta and fetus brain and it was also observed in placenta by immunohistochemical technique. Offspring weight was found to be significantly lower for the Cd exposure group than for the control group. A Cd increase in the placenta of the exposed group was accompanied by MT induction; these effects were related to a limited accumulation of Cd in fetus brain. In contrast, dam Pb exposure caused an accumulation of Pb in the fetus brain and induced damage to placenta. The results account for differences in the transference of these metals during pregnancy that could be related to their toxicity.
Histology and histopathology 12/2009; 24(12):1523-30. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the neuroprotective ability of tetrapeptide L-Asp-Ala-His-Lys (DAHK) in permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. One DAHK dose (16 mg/kg) or saline solution were i.v. administered 30 min after occlusion and neurological deficit was evaluated at 2, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h using Longa scoring scale. The striatum infarction area was evaluated until 96 h after occlusion in both groups after staining with hematoxylin-eosin. DAHK-treated group showed a significant (P < 0.05) protection of 70% of neurological deficit at 96 h after occlusion, in comparison with the control-group that showed permanent neurological deficit. The DAHK-treated group showed a significant (P < 0.05) reduction of 52% infarction area in the striatum, as compared to control values. Results presented here support the possible therapeutic application of DAHK as a neuroprotective agent in human patients with stroke, as the peptide is part of human serum albumin, already being tested in clinical trials.
Neurochemical Research 09/2009; 35(2):343-7. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interference with nitric oxide production is a possible mechanism for lead neurotoxicity. In this work, we studied the effects of sub-acute lead administration on the distribution of NOS isoforms in the hippocampus with respect to blood and hippocampal lead levels. Lead acetate (125, 250 and 500ppm) was given via drinking water to adult male Wistar rats for 14 days. We determined blood and hippocampal lead levels by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Antibodies against three isoforms of NOS were used to analyze expression and immunolocalization using western blotting and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Blood and hippocampal lead levels were increased in a dose-dependent manner in groups treated with lead acetate. We found diminished expression and immunoreactivity of nNOS and eNOS at 500ppm as compared to the control group. No expression and immunoreactivity was observed in hippocampus for iNOS. The observed high levels of lead in the blood reflect free physiological access to this metal to the organism and were related to diminished expression and immunoreactivity for nNOS and eNOS.
Experimental and toxicologic pathology: official journal of the Gesellschaft fur Toxikologische Pathologie 07/2009; 62(3):311-6. · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a world-wide health problem. After traumatic injury, spinal cord tissue starts a series of self-destructive mechanisms, known as the secondary lesion. The leading mechanisms of damage after SCI are excitotoxicity, free radicals' overproduction, inflammation and apoptosis. Metallothionein (MT) and reduced glutathione (GSH) are low-molecular-weight, cysteine-rich peptides able to scavenge free radicals. MT and GSH participation as neuroprotective molecules after SCI is unknown. The aim of the present study is to describe the changes of MT and GSH contents and GSH peroxidase (GPx) activity in the acute phase after SCI in rats. Female Wistar rats weighing 200-250g were submitted to spinal cord contusion model, by means of a computer-controlled device (NYU impactor). Rats receiving laminectomy were used as a control group. Animals were killed 2, 4, 12 and 24h after surgery. MT was quantified by the silver-saturation method, using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. GSH and GPx were assayed by spectrophotometry. Results indicate an increased MT content by effect of SCI, only at 4 and 24h, as compared to sham group values. Meanwhile, GSH was found decreased at 4, 12 and 24h after SCI. Interestingly, GPx activity was raised at all time points, indicating that this enzymatic defense is activated soon after SCI. Results suggest that thiol-based defenses, MT and GSH, are differentially expressed by spinal cord tissue to cope with the various processes of damage after lesion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metals are being utilized of ways in industries and agriculture; particularly heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic constitute a significant potential threat to human health because they are associated to many adverse effects on health. The consumption of fish is recommended because it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with health benefits due to its cardio-protective effects. However, the content of heavy metals discovered in some fish makes it difficult to establish clearly the role of fish consumption on a healthy diet. Therefore the present mini-review accounts for the recent evidence of the effect of these toxic metals on the human health and their possible implications in fish consumption.
Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 11/2008; 26(3):263-71. · 2.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Cd has been recognized as one of the most toxic environmental and industrial pollutants due to its ability to induce disturbances in several organs and tissues following either acute or chronic exposure. This review accounts for the recent evidence on its mechanisms to induce neurotoxicity, the role of the blood-brain barrier, oxidative stress, interference with calcium, and zinc-dependent processes and apoptosis induction as well as the modulatory effect of metallothionein. Discussion about cadmium neurotoxicity is centered on mechanisms of induction of cellular disfunctions. Future investigations must address those neuronal mechanisms in detail in order to understand cadmium-induced neurotoxicity.
Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 05/2007; 23(3):350-8. · 2.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cadmium (Cd) is neurotoxic metal which induces histopathological damage and oxidative stress through free radicals over production. Metallothionein (MT) is a protein able to scavenge free radicals and to chelate metals. In this study we describe the lipid peroxidation (LPO) and MT content in the brain of developing rats exposed at Cd 1 mg/kg/day intra peritoneally (i.p.) and dexamethasone (Dx) 2 mg/kg/day (i.p.) alone and combined during 5 days. At those doses, cadmium significantly increases the levels of LPO in parietal cortex, striatum and cerebellum as compared to a control group while, in the hippocampus no modifications in the LPO levels were observed. In the group treated with Cd+Dx, Dx significantly diminished the levels of LPO in parietal cortex, striatum and cerebellum. On the other hand, the MT levels showed a significant increase in all regions of the groups treated with Dx and Cd+Dx as compared with the control group. These results show that Dx treatment prevented the increase in LPO levels associated to Cd exposure, probably through the increase in MT content.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cocaine is a common drug of abuse, and its use has emerged as a major public health problem with neurological complications. In this work, the authors studied microscopic lesions produced in brain by chronic cocaine administration to rats. Twenty-five Wistar rats were exposed to 30 mg/kg/day ip of cocaine and sacrificed at 15, 30, 45, 60, and 90 days after treatment and compared to 25 control rats injected daily with saline. The parietal cortex (Cx), hippocampus (Hp), substantia nigra (SN), and cerebellum (Ce) were morphologically analyzed. The authors found progressive light microscopic lesions in all regions studied, including nuclear pyknosis and atrophy, interstitial edema, broken fibers, and necrosis. Results show that chronic treatment with cocaine in rats leads to selective severe lesions in different brain regions.
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 02/2002; 26(1):59-63. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurotoxicity associated with lead exposure may be the result of a series of small perturbations in brain metabolism, and, in particular, of oxidative stress. Some studies have suggested a lead-induced enhancement on lipid peroxidation as a possible mechanism for some toxic effects of lead. However, there are no reports about the association between lipid peroxidation enhancement and brain lead content. In this study, we determined the concentration of lead and the formation of lipid fluorescence products in the blood, as well as in the parietal cortex, striatum, hippocampus, thalamus, and cerebellum of rats exposed prenatally and postnatally to variable concentrations of lead acetate through drinking water. Pregnant Wistar rats were intoxicated throughout gestation with solutions containing either 320 or 160 ppm of lead. The pups were treated after birth in the same way until 45 days of age. Control animals received deionized water for the same period of time. The developing rats were sacrificed at postnatal day 45 and lead level was assessed biochemically in the blood and different brain regions. Results showed that blood lead levels were increased in a dose-dependent manner. In the brain, lead accumulated preferentially in the parietal cortex, striatum, and thalamus as compared to the control group, while lipid fluorescence products were significantly increased in the striatum, thalamus, and hippocampus of the treated animals. These data suggest that in the brain of rats exposed to lead acetate, lead produces a neurotoxic effect with a complex correlation with both lead regional content and lipid peroxidation.
Brain Research Bulletin 06/2001; 55(2):247-51. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Industrial and environmental exposure to cadmium (Cd) is well known to produce multiorgan toxicity in humans. Metallothionein (MT) is a cellular ligand for Cd. MT has been shown to protect against Cd-induced toxicity in many organs, including brain. In this study, we described the histopathological alterations in parietal cortex, striatum, hippocampus and cerebellum of rats following perinatal combined exposure to cadmium and dexamethasone (Dx), a drug known to induce MT synthesis in brain. Wistar rats of 13 days of age were treated for 5 days, as follows; (1) saline solution, (2) CdCl(2) 1 mg/kg per day, (3) Dx 2 mg/kg per day, (4) CdCl(2) 1 mg/kg per day + Dx 2 mg/kg/day. Rats were killed on either 18 or 28 days of age. The content of Cd in parietal cortex, striatum, hippocampus and cerebellum at 18 days old age increased 58.3-, 9.4-, 18.3- and 11.3-fold, while at 28 days of age in the same regions the increases were 6.6-, 5.8-, 25.3- and 11.3-fold in the Cd treated rats, respectively. No lesions were observed in the brain of control rats. Rats treated with Dx at 28 days of age showed interstitial edema in the four regions. Cd-treated rats at 28 days of age showed lesions in the four studied regions. In general, Dx treatment attenuated all Cd-induced lesions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing doses of dapsone were tested on rats administered intrastriatally with quinolinic acid in order to evaluate a possible protective action of this drug on the striatal lesions produced after the excessive activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. Morphological lesions were evaluated 7 days after the intrastriatal injection of quinolinate (240 nmol/microl) by light microscopy, and the ratio of neuronal damage per field was also estimated as a quantitative index of the striatal toxicity. Quinolinate alone produced extensive necrosis and loss of striatal neurons. No protective effects on the striatal tissue from quinolinate-treated rats were observed at lower doses of dapsone (6.25 and 9.375 mg/kg). However, at higher doses (12.5 and 25 mg/kg), dapsone prevented significantly the striatum from quinolinate toxicity. Dapsone alone had no effect on the striatal tissue from control rats. A single dose of dapsone (12.5 mg/kg) was tested also on the index of lipid peroxidation 2 h after the striatal injection of quinolinate, resulting in a significant protection (78% vs. QUIN). Findings of this study, in accordance with our previous reports, demonstrate the ability of dapsone to prevent the neuronal damage associated with the excitatory action of quinolinate via overactivation of NMDA receptors, and provide evidences to support the hypothesis that this drug is acting against the pattern of toxicity elicited by agonists of glutamate receptors.