In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (19)

Articles by John F. Bowyer in JoVE

 JoVE Neuroscience

A Visual Description of the Dissection of the Cerebral Surface Vasculature and Associated Meninges and the Choroid Plexus from Rat Brain

1Division of Neurotoxicology, National Center for Toxicological Research, 2Division of Personalized Nutrition and Medicine, National Center for Toxicological Research, 3Office of Planning, Finance, and Information Technology, National Center for Toxicological Research

Other articles by John F. Bowyer on PubMed

Parvalbumin Neuron Circuits and Microglia in Three Dopamine-poor Cortical Regions Remain Sensitive to Amphetamine Exposure in the Absence of Hyperthermia, Seizure and Stroke

Brain Research. Dec, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12468030

The dopamine-releasing and depleting substance amphetamine (AMPH) can make cortical neurons susceptible to damage, and the prevention of hyperthermia, seizures and stroke is thought to block these effects. Here we report a 2-day AMPH treatment paradigm which affected only interneurons in three cortical regions with average or below-average dopamine input. AMPH (six escalating doses/day ranging from 5 to 30 mg/kg for 2 days) was given at 17-18 degrees C ambient temperature (T) to adult male rats. During the 2-day AMPH treatment, peak body T stayed below 38.9 degrees C in 40% of the AMPH treated rats. In 60% of the rats, deliberate cooling suppressed (<39.5 degrees C) or minimized (<40.0 degrees C) hyperthermia. Escalation of stereotypes to seizure-like behaviors was rare and post-mortem morphological signs of stroke were absent. Neurons labeled with the anionic, neurodegeneration-marker dye Fluoro-Jade (F-J) were seen 1 day after dosing, peaked 3 days later, but were barely detectable 14 days after dosing. Only nonpyramidal neurons in layer IV of the somatosensory barrel cortex and in layer II of the piriform cortex and posterolateral cortical amygdaloid nucleus were labeled with Fluoro-Jade. Isolectin B-labeled activated microglia were only detected in their neighborhood. F-J labeled neurons were extremely rare in cortical regions rich in dopamine (e.g. cingulate cortex), and were absent in cortical regions with no dopamine (e.g. visual cortex). Parvalbumin was seen in some Fluoro-Jade-labeled neurons and parvalbumin immunostaining in local axon plexuses intensified. This AMPH paradigm affected fewer cortical regions, and caused smaller reduction in striatal tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunoreactivity than previous 1-day AMPH regimens generating seizures or severe (above 40 degrees C) hyperthermia. Correlation between peak or mean body T and the extent of neurodegeneration or microgliosis was below statistical significance. Astrogliosis (elevated levels of the astroglia-marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)) was detected in many brain regions. In the striatum and midbrain, F-J labeled neurons and activated microglia were absent, but astrogliosis, decreased TH immunolabel, and swollen TH fibers were detected. In sum, after this AMPH treatment, cortical pyramidal neurons were spared, but astrogliosis was brain-wide and some interneurons and microglia in three cortical regions with average or below-average dopamine input remained sensitive to AMPH exposure.

Plasma Levels of Parent Compound and Metabolites After Doses of Either D-fenfluramine or D-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) That Produce Long-term Serotonergic Alterations

Neurotoxicology. Jun, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12782103

Plasma levels of parent compounds and metabolites were determined in adult rhesus monkeys after doses of either 5mg/kg d-fenfluramine (FEN) or 10mg/kg d-3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) i.m. twice daily for four consecutive days. These treatment regimens have been previously shown to produce long-term serotonin (5-HT) depletions. Peak plasma levels of 2.0+/-0.4 microM FEN were reached within 40min after the first dose of FEN, and then declined rapidly, while peak plasma levels (0.4+/-0.1 microM) of the metabolite norfenfluramine (NFEN) were not reached until 6h after dosing. After the seventh (next to last) dose of FEN, peak plasma levels of FEN were 35% greater than after the first dose while peak NFEN-levels were 500% greater. The t(1/2) for FEN was 2.6+/-0.3h after the first dose and 3.2+/-0.2h after the seventh. The estimated t(1/2) for NFEN was more than 37.6+/-20.5h. Peak plasma levels of 9.5+/-2.5 microM MDMA were reached within 20min after the first dose of MDMA, and then declined rapidly, while peak plasma levels (0.9+/-0.2 microM) of the metabolite 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) were not reached until 3-6h after dosing. After the seventh (next to last) dose of MDMA, peak plasma levels of MDMA were 30% greater than the first dose while peak MDA levels were elevated over 200%. The t(1/2) for MDMA was 2.8+/-0.4h after the first and 3.9+/-1.1h after the seventh dose. The estimated t(1/2) for MDA was about 8.3+/-1.0h. Variability in plasma levels of MDMA and MDA between subjects was much greater than that for FEN and NFEN. This variability in MDMA and MDA exposure levels may have lead to variability in the subsequent disruption of some behaviors seen in these same subjects. There were 80% reductions in the plasma membrane-associated 5-HT transporters 6 months after either the FEN or MDMA dosing regimen indicating that both treatments produced long-term serotonergic effects.

A Statistical Approach in Using CDNA Array Analysis to Determine Modest Changes in Gene Expression in Several Brain Regions After Neurotoxic Insult

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. May, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12853330

Modest changes in gene expression of three-fold or less might be expected after mild to moderate neurotoxic exposure to classes of compounds, such as the substituted amphetamines, or at time points that are weeks after more severe neurotoxic exposures. When many genes appear to change expression by less than two-fold, it is crucial to run several pairs of arrays and use statistical analysis to determine which genes are really changing. This limits the number of genes that have to undergo the time consuming task of performing RT-PCR to validate change in expression levels. We describe here methods for statistically determining which genes are being expressed above background levels. These methods are used to compare expression differences among the striatum, parietal cortex, posterior lateral amygdaloid nucleus, and substantia nigra brain regions, all of which differ significantly in their gene expression profiles. In these comparisons, it was possible to distinguish differences among hundreds of genes with manageable estimated false discovery rates. The effect of amphetamine treatment on gene expression in posterior lateral amygdaloid nucleus was also evaluated. The expression data indicate that many genes have changed, but in this case it is more difficult to separate affected genes from false positives. The optimum list has 50 genes, of which 32% are expected to be false positives.

Selective Changes in Gene Expression in Cortical Regions Sensitive to Amphetamine During the Neurodegenerative Process

Neurotoxicology. Jun, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15183010

Gene expression profiles in several brain regions of adult male rats were evaluated following a d-amphetamine (AMPH) exposure paradigm previously established to produce AMPH neurotoxicity. Escalating doses of AMPH (5-30 mg/kg) were given over the course of 16 h per day in an 18 degrees C environment for 2 days. This paradigm produces neurotoxicity but eliminates or minimizes the hyperthermia and seizure activity that might influence gene expression in a manner unrelated to the neurotoxic effects of AMPH. The expression of 1185 genes was monitored in the striatum, parietal cortex, piriform cortex and posteriolateral cortical amygdaloid nucleus (PLCo) using cDNA array technology, and potentially significant changes were verified by RT-PCR. Gene expression was determined at time points after AMPH when neurodegeneration was beginning to appear (16 h) or maximal (64 h). Expression was also determined 14 days after AMPH to find long-term changes in gene expression that might be biomarkers of a neurotoxic event. In the parietal cortex there was a two-fold increase in neuropeptide Y precursor protein mRNA whereas nerve growth factor-induced receptor protein I-A and I-B mRNA decreased 50% at 16 h after the end of AMPH exposure. Although these changes in expression were not observed in the PLCo, insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 mRNA was increased two-fold in the PLCo at 16 and 64 h after AMPH. Changes in gene expression in the cortical regions were all between 1.2- and 1.5-fold 14 days after AMPH but some of these changes, such as annexin V increases, may be relevant to neurotoxicity. Gene expression was not affected by more than 1.5-fold at the time points in the striatum, although 65% dopamine depletions occurred, but the plasma membrane-associated dopamine transporter and dopamine D2 receptor were decreased about 40% in the substantia nigra at 64 h and 14 days post-AMPH. Thus, the 2-day AMPH treatment produced a few changes in gene expression in the two-fold range at time points 16 h or more after exposure but the majority of expression changes were less than 1.5-fold of control. Nonetheless, some of these lesser fold-changes appeared to be relevant to the neurotoxic process.

Multiple-testing Strategy for Analyzing CDNA Array Data on Gene Expression

Biometrics. Sep, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15339301

An objective of many functional genomics studies is to estimate treatment-induced changes in gene expression. cDNA arrays interrogate each tissue sample for the levels of mRNA for hundreds to tens of thousands of genes, and the use of this technology leads to a multitude of treatment contrasts. By-gene hypotheses tests evaluate the evidence supporting no effect, but selecting a significance level requires dealing with the multitude of comparisons. The p-values from these tests order the genes such that a p-value cutoff divides the genes into two sets. Ideally one set would contain the affected genes and the other would contain the unaffected genes. However, the set of genes selected as affected will have false positives, i.e., genes that are not affected by treatment. Likewise, the other set of genes, selected as unaffected, will contain false negatives, i.e., genes that are affected. A plot of the observed p-values (1 - p) versus their expectation under a uniform [0, 1] distribution allows one to estimate the number of true null hypotheses. With this estimate, the false positive rates and false negative rates associated with any p-value cutoff can be estimated. When computed for a range of cutoffs, these rates summarize the ability of the study to resolve effects. In our work, we are more interested in selecting most of the affected genes rather than protecting against a few false positives. An optimum cutoff, i.e., the best set given the data, depends upon the relative cost of falsely classifying a gene as affected versus the cost of falsely classifying a gene as unaffected. We select the cutoff by a decision-theoretic method analogous to methods developed for receiver operating characteristic curves. In addition, we estimate the false discovery rate and the false nondiscovery rate associated with any cutoff value. Two functional genomics studies that were designed to assess a treatment effect are used to illustrate how the methods allowed the investigators to determine a cutoff to suit their research goals.

Glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate and Dopamine Receptors Have Contrasting Effects on the Limbic Versus the Somatosensory Cortex with Respect to Amphetamine-induced Neurodegeneration

Brain Research. Dec, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15571672

The roles that glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and dopamine D1-like and D2-like receptors play in the cortical neurotoxicity occurring in rats exposed to multiple doses of amphetamine (AMPH) for 2 days was evaluated. Neurodegeneration in rats that did not become hyperthermic during AMPH exposure was quantified by counting isolectin B4-labeled phagocytic microglia and Fluoro-Jade (F-J)-labeled neurons in the somatosensory parietal cortex, piriform cortex and posterolateral cortical amygdaloid nucleus (PLCo). The NMDA receptor antagonist, dizocilpine (0.63 mg/kg day) blocked AMPH-induced neurodegeneration in the somatosensory cortex. However, it did not affect degeneration in the piriform cortex and PLCo indicating that limbic degeneration was not NMDA-mediated. The dopamine antagonists, eticlopride (D2/3, 0.25 mg/kg day) and SCH-23390 (D1, 0.25 mg/kg day), blocked the stereotypic behavior and neurodegeneration in the somatosensory cortex. However, eticlopride had a lesser protective effect in the limbic regions. As well, the dopamine D2/D3 agonist quinpirole (1.5 mg/kg day) protected against cortical neurodegeneration when it was given during AMPH exposure and continued until sacrifice. The dopamine D1 agonist (SKF-38393, 12.5 mg/kg day) had no significant effect on neurodegeneration. These data indicate that there are significant differences in NMDA and dopamine D2 modulation of AMPH-induced neurodegeneration in the somatosensory cortex compared to the limbic cortices, and limbic cortical degeneration is not necessarily dependent on excessive stimulation of NMDA receptors as it is in the somatosensory cortex. Although excessive dopamine receptor stimulation during amphetamine exposure may trigger the neurodegenerative processes, continued D2 stimulation after AMPH exposure is neuroprotective in the cortex.

Classification of CDNA Array Genes That Have a Highly Significant Discriminative Power Due to Their Unique Distribution in Four Brain Regions

DNA and Cell Biology. Oct, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15585124

Novel statistical methods were used to distinguish functionally distinct brain regions using their cDNA array gene expression profiles, and it was found that one of four specific factors is often associated with the most regionally discriminative genes. The gene expression profiles for the substantia nigra (SN), striatum (STR), parietal cortex (PC), and posterolateral cortical amygdaloid nucleus (PLCo) brain regions were determined from each brain region. An F-test identified 339 genes of the 1185 array genes as having a P < or = 0.01 and applied a gene ranking and selection method based on Soft Independent Modeling of Class Analogy (SIMCA) to obtain 59 of the most discriminative genes. Their discriminative power was validated in three steps. The most convincing step showed their ability to correctly predict the brain regional classifications for 18 "test" gene expression sets obtained from the four regions. A two-way Hierarchical Cluster Analysis organized the 59 genes in six clusters according to their expression differences in the brain regions. Expression patterns in the SN and STR regions greatly differed from each other and the PC and PLCo. The closer similarity in the gene expression patterns of the PC and PLCo was probably due to their functional similarity. The important factors in determining differences in the regional gene expression profiles in six clusters were (1) regional myelin/oligodendrocyte levels, (2) resident neuron types, (3) neurotransmitter innervation profiles, and (4) Ca++-dependent signaling and second messenger systems.

Effect of Arylformamidase (kynurenine Formamidase) Gene Inactivation in Mice on Enzymatic Activity, Kynurenine Pathway Metabolites and Phenotype

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15866519

The gene coding for arylformamidase (Afmid, also known as kynurenine formamidase) was inactivated in mice through the removal of a shared bidirectional promoter region regulating expression of the Afmid and thymidine kinase (Tk) genes. Afmid/Tk -deficient mice are known to develop sclerosis of glomeruli and to have an abnormal immune system. Afmid-catalyzed hydrolysis of N-formyl-kynurenine is a key step in tryptophan metabolism and biosynthesis of kynurenine-derived products including kynurenic acid, quinolinic acid, nicotinamide, NAD, and NADP. A disruption of these pathways is implicated in neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity. In wild-type (WT) mice, Afmid-specific activity (as measured by formyl-kynurenine hydrolysis) was 2-fold higher in the liver than in the kidney. Formyl-kynurenine hydrolysis was reduced by approximately 50% in mice heterozygous (HZ) for Afmid/Tk and almost completely eliminated in Afmid/Tk knockout (KO) mice. However, there was 13% residual formyl-kynurenine hydrolysis in the kidney of KO mice, suggesting the existence of a formamidase other than Afmid. Liver and kidney levels of nicotinamide plus NAD/NADP remained the same in WT, HZ and KO mice. Plasma concentrations of formyl-kynurenine, kynurenine, and kynurenic acid were elevated in KO mice (but not HZ mice) relative to WT mice, further suggesting that there must be enzymes other than Afmid (possibly in the kidney) capable of metabolizing formyl-kynurenine into kynurenine. Gradual kidney deterioration and subsequent failure in KO mice is consistent with high levels of tissue-specific Afmid expression in the kidney of WT but not KO mice. On this basis, the most significant function of the kynurenine pathway and Afmid in mice may be in eliminating toxic metabolites and to a lesser extent in providing intermediates for other processes.

Biomarkers of Adult and Developmental Neurotoxicity

Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Aug, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15967216

Neurotoxicity may be defined as any adverse effect on the structure or function of the central and/or peripheral nervous system by a biological, chemical, or physical agent. A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to assess adult and developmental neurotoxicity due to the complex and diverse functions of the nervous system. The overall strategy for understanding developmental neurotoxicity is based on two assumptions: (1) significant differences in the adult versus the developing nervous system susceptibility to neurotoxicity exist and they are often developmental stage dependent; (2) a multidisciplinary approach using neurobiological, including gene expression assays, neurophysiological, neuropathological, and behavioral function is necessary for a precise assessment of neurotoxicity. Application of genomic approaches to developmental studies must use the same criteria for evaluating microarray studies as those in adults including consideration of reproducibility, statistical analysis, homogenous cell populations, and confirmation with non-array methods. A study using amphetamine to induce neurotoxicity supports the following: (1) gene expression data can help define neurotoxic mechanism(s), (2) gene expression changes can be useful biomarkers of effect, and (3) the site-selective nature of gene expression in the nervous system may mandate assessment of selective cell populations.

Fluoro-Ruby Labeling Prior to an Amphetamine Neurotoxic Insult Shows a Definitive Massive Loss of Dopaminergic Terminals and Axons in the Caudate-putamen

Brain Research. Feb, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16458862

Fluoro-Ruby (FR) was injected into the substantia nigra (SNc) to label dopaminergic axons and terminals in the caudate putamen (CPu) of rats 7 days prior to a neurotoxic d-amphetamine (AMPH) exposure. Three days after AMPH exposure, a massive loss in the TH immunoreactive (TH(+)) axons and terminals was seen in the CPu. The FR-labeled (FR(+)) axons and terminals in the CPu were greatly diminished with those remaining being enlarged or swollen after AMPH. Fluoro-Jade C (FJ-C) labeling was used to verify AMPH-induced axonal and terminal degeneration. This study demonstrates that fluorescent anterograde tract tracers can be used to show the subsequent axonal and terminal degeneration after systemic exposures to toxins and provides direct evidence that CPu axons and terminals from SNc dopaminergic neurons can be destroyed after neurotoxic exposure to AMPH.

High Doses of Methamphetamine That Cause Disruption of the Blood-brain Barrier in Limbic Regions Produce Extensive Neuronal Degeneration in Mouse Hippocampus

Synapse (New York, N.Y.). Dec, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16952162

Histological examination of brain after a single high (40 mg/kg) dose of D-methamphetamine (METH) was used to determine the relationships between blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, hyperthermia, intense seizure activity, and extensive degeneration that this exposure often produces. In very hyperthermic mice (body temperatures > 40.5 degrees C) exhibiting status epilepticus, increase in mouse IgG immunoreactivity (IgGIR) in the medial and ventral amygdala was observed within 90 min after METH exposure. In a few instances, where body temperature was in the 40.0 degrees C range, such IgGIR was also seen in animals that had exhibited status epilepticus. Variable increases in IgGIR, which correlated with neurodegeneration, also occurred within 12 h in the hippocampus, indicating BBB disruption in this region also. Degenerating neurons, Fluoro-Jade C (FJ-C) labeled, were first detected 4 h after METH in the amygdala and hippocampus. Extensive neurodegeneration occurred in the amygdaloid and hippocampal pyramidal cell regions in animals with marked IgGIR increase in these regions by 12 and 24 h after METH. A very rapid activation of brain microglia and/or infiltration of macrophages in regions of notable IgGIR increase with intense neurodegeneration were seen within 24 h. The phagocytosis rate of neurons in the hippocampus was so rapid that FJ-C labeling was virtually nonexistent 3 days after METH. METH did not produce IgGIR increase or neurodegeneration in the limbic regions in the absence of hyperthermia and seizures. Thus, high doses of METH can cause damage to the BBB when hyperthermia occurs, resulting in rapid and extensive hippocampal and amygdalar damage. The BBB disruption in the medial amygdala occurs first, and may well be contributing to the induction and severity of seizures, while BBB disruption in the hippocampus is likely a result of the seizures and hyperthermia. This hippocampal damage should be sufficient to compromise learning and memory.

Quantification of Rat Brain Neurotransmitters and Metabolites Using Liquid Chromatography/electrospray Tandem Mass Spectrometry and Comparison with Liquid Chromatography/electrochemical Detection

Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry : RCM. 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17979107

Analytical methodology based on solid-phase extraction, polar reversed-phase liquid chromatography, and electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) with isotope dilution was developed and validated for quantifying the neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, and their major metabolites in brain tissue. Limits of detection (0.1-20 pg/mg tissue) were sufficient for analysis of multiple neurotransmitters in rat brain regions, including parietal cortex, hypothalamus, pituitary, substantia nigra, and striatum. Method performance was compared with contemporaneous measurements using a well-established procedure based on ion-pairing reversed-phase liquid chromatography and amperometric detection. The principal advantages of the LC/MS/MS method include a more robust sample purification procedure, an optimized chromatographic separation, and the qualitative and quantitative assurance that comes from coeluting isotopically labeled internal standards; however, sensitivity did not consistently improve upon that provided by amperometric detection. This methodology may be particularly useful for applications in which simultaneous determinations are required for drugs and their affected neurotransmitters in specific brain regions.

Neurotoxic-related Changes in Tyrosine Hydroxylase, Microglia, Myelin, and the Blood-brain Barrier in the Caudate-putamen from Acute Methamphetamine Exposure

Synapse (New York, N.Y.). Mar, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18081184

Changes in the histological morphology of the caudate-putamen (CPu) were determined after a high-dose methamphetamine (METH) exposure in an effort to elucidate whether BBB disruption plays a role in CPu neurotoxicity. This was accomplished by evaluating the tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity (TH-IR), isolectin B4 reactivity, Black Gold II (BG-II) and Fluoro-Jade C (FJ-C) staining, and immunoreactivity to mouse immunoglobulin G (IgG-IR) in adult male mice at 90-min, 4-h, 12-h, 1-day, and 3-day post-METH exposure. The IgG-IR indicated that the BBB was only modestly altered in the CPu at time points after neurodegeneration occurred and dependent on hyperthermia and status epilepticus. The modest CPu IgG-IR changes observed in the perivascular areas indicated that immunoglobulins were present on some CPu microglia 1 day or more after METH. The first signs of CPu damage were swellings in the TH-IR axons, myelin damage, and a few degenerating neurons at 4-h post-METH. The loss of TH-IR was dependent on hyperthermia but not seizures or CPu neurodegeneration, and the TH-IR was virtually absent throughout the CPu within 12 h. Surprisingly, signs of FJ-C labeling (degenerating) axons in the CPu were seen only in the regions of pronounced somatic neurodegeneration and independent of TH-IR loss. Microglial activation did not occur until 1 day or more post-METH. In summary, a major BBB disruption within the CPu does not directly contribute to neurotoxicity in this single high-dose METH exposure. However, seizure activity produced or exacerbated by amygdalar BBB disruption can significantly increase CPu somatic neurodegeneration (but not affect dopamine (DA) terminal damage). The time course of microglial activation indicates a response to the neurodegeneration, myelin damage, and/or damaged DA terminals after loss of TH-IR.

Brain Region-specific Neurodegenerative Profiles Showing the Relative Importance of Amphetamine Dose, Hyperthermia, Seizures, and the Blood-brain Barrier

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Oct, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18991857

Understanding the neurotoxic effects of acute high-dose exposures of laboratory animals to methamphetamine (METH) and amphetamine (AMPH) is of relevance to understanding the neurotoxicity incurred in humans from overdose or abuse of these substances. We present recent findings on the neurodegenerative effects of both a single high dose of 40 mg/kg and a 4-dose exposure to AMPH in the rat. Comparing these results with those we have previously observed in rodents exposed to either AMPH or METH helps further address how dose, hyperthermia, seizures and blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption interact to produce neurodegeneration. With regard to the 4-dose paradigm of AMPH exposure in the rat, our recent data, combined with previous findings, clearly show the importance of dose and hyperthermic interactions in producing neurodegeneration. The single high AMPH dose invariably resulted in extreme hyperthermia and brief episodes of clonic-tonic seizure activity in many rats. However, motor behavior indicative of status epilepticus was not observed in rats receiving the 40 mg/kg AMPH, which contrasts with what we have previously seen with 40 mg/kg METH dose in the mouse. This may explain why, unlike the mice given METH, there was minimal BBB disruption in the amygdala of rats. Nonetheless, in some of the surviving rats there was extensive neurodegeneration in the hippocampus and intralaminar and ventromedial/lateral thalamic nuclei. Early BBB disruption was seen in the hippocampus and may play an important role in the subsequent neurodegeneration. The fact that status epilepticus does not occur in rats that have major hippocampal and thalamic degeneration indicates that such damage may also occur in humans exposed to high doses of AMPH or METH in the absence of status epilepticus or prominent motor manifestations of seizure activity.

Amphetamine and Environmentally Induced Hyperthermia Differentially Alter the Expression of Genes Regulating Vascular Tone and Angiogenesis in the Meninges and Associated Vasculature

Synapse (New York, N.Y.). Oct, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19582783

An amphetamine (AMPH) regimen that does not produce a prominent blood-brain barrier breakdown was shown to significantly alter the expression of genes regulating vascular tone, immune function, and angiogenesis in vasculature associated with arachnoid and pia membranes of the forebrain. Adult-male Sprague-Dawley rats were given either saline injections during environmentally-induced hyperthermia (EIH) or four doses of AMPH with 2 h between each dose (5, 7.5, 10, and 10 mg/kg d-AMPH, s.c.) that produced hyperthermia. Rats were sacrificed either 3 h or 1 day after dosing, and total RNA and protein was isolated from the meninges, arachnoid and pia membranes, and associated vasculature (MAV) that surround the forebrain. Vip, eNos, Drd1a, and Edn1 (genes regulating vascular tone) were increased by either EIH or AMPH to varying degrees in MAV, indicating that EIH and AMPH produce differential responses to enhance vasodilatation. AMPH, and EIH to a lesser extent, elicited a significant inflammatory response at 3 h as indicated by an increased MAV expression of cytokines Il1b, Il6, Ccl-2, Cxcl1, and Cxcl2. Also, genes related to heat shock/stress and disruption of vascular homeostasis such as Icam1 and Hsp72 were also observed. The increased expression of Ctgf and Timp1 and the decreased expression of Akt1, Anpep, and Mmp2 and Tek (genes involved in stimulating angiogenesis) from AMPH exposure suggest that angiogenesis was arrested or disrupted in MAV to a greater extent by AMPH compared to EIH. Alterations in vascular-related gene expression in the parietal cortex and striatum after AMPH were less in magnitude than in MAV, indicating less of a disruption of vascular homeostasis in these two regions. Changes in the levels of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins Igfbp1, 2, and 5 in MAV, compared to those in striatum and parietal cortex, imply an interaction between these regions to regulate the levels of insulin-like growth factor after AMPH damage. Thus, the vasculature and meninges surrounding the surface of the forebrain may be an important region in which AMPHs can disrupt vascular homeostasis.

The MRNA Expression and Histological Integrity in Rat Forebrain Motor and Sensory Regions Are Minimally Affected by Acrylamide Exposure Through Drinking Water

Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology. Nov, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19664650

A study was undertaken to determine whether alterations in the gene expression or overt histological signs of neurotoxicity in selected regions of the forebrain might occur from acrylamide exposure via drinking water. Gene expression at the mRNA level was evaluated by cDNA array and/or RT-PCR analysis in the striatum, substantia nigra and parietal cortex of rat after a 2-week acrylamide exposure. The highest dose tested (maximally tolerated) of approximately 44 mg/kg/day resulted in a significant decreased body weight, sluggishness, and locomotor activity reduction. These physiological effects were not accompanied by prominent changes in gene expression in the forebrain. All the expression changes seen in the 1200 genes that were evaluated in the three brain regions were < or =1.5-fold, and most not significant. Very few, if any, statistically significant changes were seen in mRNA levels of the more than 50 genes directly related to the cholinergic, noradrenergic, GABAergic or glutamatergic neurotransmitter systems in the striatum, substantia nigra or parietal cortex. All the expression changes observed in genes related to dopaminergic function were less than 1.5-fold and not statistically significant and the 5HT1b receptor was the only serotonin-related gene affected. Therefore, gene expression changes were few and modest in basal ganglia and sensory cortex at a time when the behavioral manifestations of acrylamide toxicity had become prominent. No histological evidence of axonal, dendritic or neuronal cell body damage was found in the forebrain due to the acrylamide exposure. As well, microglial activation was not present. These findings are consistent with the absence of expression changes in genes related to changes in neuroinflammation or neurotoxicity. Over all, these data suggest that oral ingestion of acrylamide in drinking water or food, even at maximally tolerable levels, induced neither marked changes in gene expression nor neurotoxicity in the motor and somatosensory areas of the central nervous system.

Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Responses Differ in Meninges and Associated Vasculature, Striatum, and Parietal Cortex After a Neurotoxic Amphetamine Exposure

Synapse (New York, N.Y.). Aug, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20340164

Amphetamine (AMPH) is used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, but it can produce neurotoxicity and adverse vascular effects at high doses. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response (ERSR) entails the unfolded protein response, which helps to avoid or minimize ER dysfunction. ERSR is often associated with toxicities resulting from the accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins and has been associated with methamphetamine toxicity in the striatum. The present study evaluates the effect of AMPH on several ERSR elements in meninges and associated vasculature (MAV), parietal cortex, and striatum. Adult, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to saline, environmentally induced hyperthermia (EIH) or four consecutive doses of AMPH that produce hyperthermia. Expression changes (mRNA and protein levels) of key ERSR-related genes in MAV, striatum, and parietal cortex at 3 h or 1 day postdosing were monitored. AMPH increased the expression of some ERSR-related genes in all tissues. Atf4 (activating transcription factor 4, an indicator of Perk pathway activation), Hspa5/Grp78 (Glucose regulated protein 78, master regulator of ERSR), Pdia4 (protein disulfide isomerase, protein-folding enzyme), and Nfkb1 (nuclear factor of kappa b, ERSR sensor) mRNA increased significantly in MAV and parietal cortex 3 h after AMPH. In striatum, Atf4 and Hspa5/Grp78 mRNA significantly increased 3 h after AMPH, but Pdia4 and Nfkb11 did not. Thus, AMPH caused a robust activation of the Perk pathway in all tissues, but significant Ire1 pathway activation occurred only after AMPH treatment in the parietal cortex and striatum. Ddit3/Chop, a downstream effector of the ERSR pathway related to the neurotoxicity, was only increased in striatum and parietal cortex. Conversely, Pdia4, an enzyme protective in the ERSR, was only increased in MAV. The overall ERSR manifestation varied significantly between MAV, striatum, and parietal cortex after a neurotoxic exposure to AMPH.

A Comparison of Methylphenidate-, Amphetamine-, and Methamphetamine-induced Hyperthermia and Neurotoxicity in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats During the Waking (lights Off) Cycle

Neurotoxicology and Teratology. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22289608

Previous studies focusing on amphetamine (AMPH), methamphetamine (METH) and methylphenidate (MPH) neurotoxicity have almost exclusively been conducted in rodents during the light cycle, which is when most rodents sleep. There are virtually no studies that have simultaneously compared the effects of these three stimulants on body temperature and also determined serum stimulant levels during exposure. The present study compared the effects of MPH, AMPH and METH treatment on body temperature and neurotoxicity during the waking (dark) cycle of the rat. This was done to more effectively replicate stimulant exposure in waking humans and to evaluate the relative risks of the three stimulants when taken inappropriately or non-therapeutically (e.g., abuse). Four subcutaneous injections (4×), at 2 h intervals, were used to administer each dose of the stimulants tested. Several equimolar doses for the three stimulants were chosen to produce plasma levels ranging from 3 times the highest therapeutic levels (no effect on body temperature) to those only attained by accidental overdose or intentional abuse in humans. Either 4×2.0 mg/kg AMPH or 4×2.2 mg/kg METH administered during the waking cycle resulted in peak serum levels of between 1.5 and 2.5 μM (4 to 5 times over maximum therapeutic levels of METH and AMPH) and produced lethal hyperthermia, 70% striatal dopamine depletions, and neurodegeneration in the cortex and thalamus. These results show that METH and AMPH are equipotent at producing lethal hyperthermia and neurotoxicity in laboratory animals during the wake cycle. Administration of either 4×2.2 or 4×3.3 mg/kg METH during the sleep cycle produced lower peak body temperatures, minimal dopamine depletions and little neurodegeneration. These findings indicate that administration of the stimulant during the waking cycle compared to sleep cycle may significantly increase the potency of amphetamines to produce hyperthermia, neurotoxicity and lethality. In contrast, body temperature during the waking cycle was only significantly elevated by MPH at 4×22 mg/kg, and the serum levels producing this effect were 2-fold (approximately 4.5 μM) greater on a molar basis than hyperthermic doses of AMPH and METH. Thus, AMPH and METH were equipotent on a mg/kg body weight basis at producing hyperthermia and neurotoxicity while MPH on a mg/kg body weight basis was approximately 10-fold less potent than AMPH and METH. However, the 10-fold lower potency was in large part due to lower plasma levels produced by MPH compared to either AMPH or METH.

Chronic Exposure to Corticosterone Enhances the Neuroinflammatory and Neurotoxic Responses to Methamphetamine

Journal of Neurochemistry. Sep, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22776046

Up-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in brain ("neuroinflammation") accompanies neurological disease and neurotoxicity. Previously, we documented a striatal neuroinflammatory response to acute administration of a neurotoxic dose of methamphetamine (METH), i.e. one associated with evidence of dopaminergic terminal damage and activation of microglia and astroglia. When we used minocycline to suppress METH-induced neuroinflammation, indices of dopaminergic neurotoxicity were not affected, but suppression of neuroinflammation was incomplete. Here, we administered the classic anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid, corticosterone (CORT), in an attempt to completely suppress METH-related neuroinflammation. METH alone caused large increases in striatal proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine mRNA and subsequent astrocytic hypertrophy, microglial activation, and dopaminergic nerve terminal damage. Pre-treatment of mice with acute CORT failed to prevent neuroinflammatory responses to METH. Surprisingly, when mice were pre-treated with chronic CORT in the drinking water, an enhanced striatal neuroinflammatory response to METH was observed, an effect that was accompanied by enhanced METH-induced astrogliosis and dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Chronic CORT pre-treatment also sensitized frontal cortex and hippocampus to mount a neuroinflammatory response to METH. Because the levels of chronic CORT used are associated with high physiological stress, our data suggest that chronic CORT therapy or sustained physiological stress may sensitize the neuroinflammatory and neurotoxicity responses to METH.

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