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Title: Methylmercury causes neuronal cell death through the suppression of the TrkA pathway: In vitro and in vivo effects of TrkA pathway activators

Methylmercury (MeHg) is an environmental toxin which induces cell death specific for the nervous systems. Here we show that MeHg causes neuronal cell death through the suppression of the tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) pathway, and that compounds activating the TrkA pathway prevent MeHg-induced nerve damage in vitro and in vivo. We first investigated the mechanism of MeHg-induced neurotoxicity in differentiating neurons using PC12 cells. Exposure to 100 nM MeHg for 1 day induced apoptosis in differentiating PC12 cells. Further, MeHg-induced apoptosis was preceded by inhibition of neurite extension, as determined by ELISA analyses of the neurite-specific protein neurofilament triplet H protein (NF-H). To determine the mechanism of MeHg-induced apoptosis, we evaluated the effects of MeHg on the TrkA pathway, which is known to regulate neuronal differentiation and viability. Western blot analysis demonstrated that, like the TrkA phosphorylation inhibitor K252a, MeHg inhibited phosphorylation of TrkA and its downstream effectors. Furthermore, GM1 ganglioside and its analog MCC-257, which enhance TrkA phosphorylation, overcame the effect of MeHg in neurons, supporting the involvement of the TrkA pathway in MeHg-induced nerve damage. Finally, we demonstrated that MCC-257 rescued the clinical sign and pathological changes in MeHg-exposed rats. These findings indicate that MeHg-induced apoptosis inmore » neuron is triggered by inhibition of the TrkA pathway, and that GM1 ganglioside and MCC-257 effectively prevent MeHg-induced nerve damage. - Highlights: • Exposure to 100 nM MeHg for 1 day induced apoptosis in differentiating PC12 cells. • Inhibition of neurite extension was involved in MeHg-induced apoptosis. • Like the TrkA phosphorylation inhibitor, MeHg inhibited phosphorylation of TrkA. • GM1 ganglioside and its analog effectively prevented MeHg-induced nerve damage.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Basic Medical Sciences, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Kumamoto (Japan)
  2. Department of Clinical Medicine, National Institute for Minamata Disease, Kumamoto (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22465689
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology; Journal Volume: 282; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; APOPTOSIS; ENZYME IMMUNOASSAY; GROWTH FACTORS; IN VITRO; IN VIVO; METHYLMERCURY; NERVE CELLS; NERVOUS SYSTEM; PATHOLOGICAL CHANGES; PHOSPHORYLATION; RATS; RECEPTORS; TOXINS; TROPOMYOSIN; VIABILITY