Neurobiology of Disease 10, 306-326 (2002) doi:10.1006/nbdi.2002.0524
Disruption of the Blood-Brain Barrier and Neuronal Cell Death in Cingulate Cortex, Dentate Gyrus, Thalamus, and Hypothalamus in a Rat Model of Gulf-War Syndrome
Ali Abdel-Rahman, Ashok K. Shetty, and Mohamed B. Abou-Donia
ABSTRACT: We investigated the effects of a combined exposure to restraint stress and low doses of chemicals pyridostigmine bromide (PB), N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET), and permethrin in adult male rats, a model Gulf-War syndrome. Animals were exposed daily to one of the following for 28 days: (i) a combination of stress and chemicals (PB, 1.3 mg/kg/day; DEET, 40 mg/kg/day; and permethrin, 0.13 mg/kg/day); (ii) stress and vehicle; (iii) chemicals alone; and (iv) vehicle alone. All animals were evaluated for: (i) the disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) using intravenous horseradish peroxidase (HRP) injections and endothelial barrier antigen (EBA) immunostaining; (ii) neuronal cell death using H&E staining, silver staining, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunostaining; and (iii) acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and m2-muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (m2-AChR). Animals subjected to stress and chemicals exhibited both disruption of the BBB and neuronal cell death in the cingulate cortex, the dentate gyrus, the thalamus, and the hypothalamus. Other regions of the brain, although they demonstrated some neuronal cell death, did not exhibit disruption of the BBB. The neuropathological changes in the above four brain regions were highly conspicuous and revealed by a large number of HRP-positive neurons (21-40% of total neurons), a decreased EBA immunostaining (42-51% reduction), a decreased number of surviving neurons (27-40% reduction), the presence of dying neurons (4-10% of total neurons), and an increased GFAP immunostaining (45-51% increase). These changes were also associated with decreased forebrain AChE activity and m2-AchR (19-25% reduction). In contrast, in animals exposed to stress and vehicle or chemicals alone, the above indices were mostly comparable to that of animals exposed to vehicle alone. Thus, a combined exposure to stress and low doses of PB, DEET, and permethrin leads to significant brain injury. The various neurological symptoms reported by Gulf-War veterans could be linked to this kind of brain injury incurred during the war.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A Issue: Volume 66, Number 1/2003 Pages:57 - 73
Testicular Germ-Cell Apoptosis in Stressed Rats Following Combined Exposure to Pyridostigmine Bromide, N,N-Diethyl m-Toluamide (Deet), and Permethrin
Mohamed B. Abou-Donia, Hagir B. Suliman, Wasiuddin A. Khan, Ali A. Abdel-Rahman
ABSTRACT: This study reports and characterizes the TESTICULAR APOPTOSIS following daily exposure of male Sprague-Dawley rats to subchronic combined doses of pyridostigmine bromide (PB, 1.3 mg/kg/d in water, oral), a drug used for treatment of myasthenia gravis and prophylactic treatment against nerve agents during the Persian Gulf War; the insect repellent N,N-diethyl m-toluamide (DEET, 40 mg/kg/d in ethanol, dermal); and the insecticide permethrin (0.13 mg/kg in ethanol, dermal), with and without stress for 28 d. Combined exposure to these chemicals was implicated in the development of illnesses including genitourinary disorders among many veterans of the Persian Gulf War. Previous studies from this laboratory have shown that exposure to combination of these chemicals produced greater toxicity compared to single components. Exposure to stress alone did not cause any significant histopathological alterations in the testes. Administration of combination of these chemicals induced apoptosis in rat testicular germ cells, Sertoli cells, and Leydig cells, as well as in the endothelial lining of the blood vessels. Testicular damage was significantly augmented when the animals were further exposed to a combination of chemicals and stress. Histopathological examination of testicular tissue sections showed that apoptosis was confined to the basal germ cells and spermatocytes, indicating suppression of spermatogenesis. Increased apoptosis of testicular cells coincided, in timing and localization, with increased expression of the apoptosis-promoting proteins Bax and p53. Furthermore, significant increase of 3-nitrotyrosine immunostaining in the testis revealed oxidative and/or nitrosation induction of cell death. In conclusion, COMBINED EXPOSURE TO REAL-LIFE DOSES OF TEST COMPOUNDS CAUSED GERM-CELL APOPTOSIS THAT WAS SIGNIFICANTLY ENHANCED BY STRESS.