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J Neurosci Res. 2001 Nov 1;66(3):464-74.

Neurotoxicant-induced elevation of adrenomedullin expression in hippocampus and glia cultures.

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  • 1Laboratory of Toxicology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


Adrenomedullin (AM), a vasoactive peptide first isolated from pheochromocytoma, has been reported to be present in neurons in the central nervous system and in tumors of neural and glial origin. In this study, we investigated AM expression both in the hippocampus and in glial cell cultures using a chemical-induced model of injury. An acute intraperitoneal injection of the organometal trimethyltin (TMT) results in neurodegeneration of the hippocampal CA3-4 pyramidal cell layer. Within 4 days of injection, sparse, punctate staining for AM and lectin was evident in the CA3-4 region; by 10 days, a minimal level of CA3-4 neuronal degeneration was evident, with an increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive astrocytes throughout the hippocampus. Degeneration progressed in severity until 30 days post-TMT, with distinct positive immunoreactivity for AM in the CA4 region. mRNA levels for tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, GFAP, and AM in the hippocampus were increased over control levels within 4 days following TMT. In cultured glial cells, a 6 hr exposure to TMT (10 microM) produced a morphological response of the cells and increased immunoreactivity for vimentin, GFAP, and AM. mRNA levels for TNFalpha, IL-1alpha, GFAP, vimentin, and AM were elevated within 3-6 hr of exposure. In culture, neutralizing antibodies to IL-1alpha and TNFalpha were effective in inhibiting the TMT-induced elevation of AM mRNA. These data suggest an interaction between the proinflammatory cytokines and glia response in the regulation of AM in response to injury.

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