Developmental lead exposure affects dopaminergic neuron morphology and modifies basal slowing response in Caenorhabditis elegans: Effects of ethanol

Paula A. Albrecht, Lucia E. Fernandez-Hubeid, Romina Deza-Ponzio, Airton C. Martins, Michael Aschner, Miriam B. Virgolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lead (Pb) and ethanol (EtOH) are neurotoxicants that affect the dopaminergic (DAergic) system. We first sought to assess the morphology of the DAergic neurons in the Caenorhabditis elegans BY200 strain. The results demonstrated dose-dependent damage in these neurons induced by developmental Pb exposure. Secondly, transgenic worms exposed to 24 μM Pb and administered with 200 mM EtOH were evaluated in the basal slowing response (BSR). Pb induced impairment in the BSR in the wild-type strain that did not improve in response to EtOH, an effect also observed in strains that lack the DOP-1, DOP-2, and DOP-3 receptors. The animals that overexpress tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), or lack the vesicular transport (VMAT) showed a Pb-induced impairment in the BSR that seemed to improve after EtOH. Interestingly, a dramatic impairment in the BSR was observed in the Pb group in strains lacking the DOP-4 receptor, resembling the response of the TH-deficient strain, an effect that in both cases showed a non-significant reversal by EtOH. These results suggest that the facilitatory effect of EtOH on the impaired BSR observed in Pb-exposed null mutant strains may be the result of a compensatory effect in the altered DAergic synapse present in these animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-359
Number of pages11
JournalNeurotoxicology
Volume91
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • Lead – Ethanol – Dopamine – Caenorhabditis elegans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology

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