Polybrominated diphenyl ether-153 (BDE-153) has been demonstrated to induce neuronal apoptosis in rat cerebral cortex and primary neurons. Neurotrophins and cholinergic enzymes play critical roles in the neuronal survival, maintenance, synaptic plasticity and learning memory, however, their roles in neuronal apoptosis following the BDE-153 treatment remain unclear. In this study, the authors firstly explored the possible predominant pathway underlying the neuronal apoptotic induced by the BDE-153 treatment in rat cerebral cortex, by measuring expression levels (mRNA and protein) of p53, caspase-3, 8, 9, calpain-1, and calpain-2, detected the levels (protein contents and mRNA) of neurotrophins including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4), and measured acetylcholinesterase (AchE) and choline acetyltransferase (ChaT) activities in rat cerebral cortex and primary neurons following BDE-153 treatment with or without pretreatment with inhibitors. Results showed that the neuronal apoptosis induced by BDE-153 was dependent on p53, and dependent on more calpain-2 than caspase-3 in the cerebral cortex of rats. Following the BDE-153 treatment, the protein contents and mRNA levels of BDNF, GDNF, NGF, NT-3, and NT-4, as well as the AchE and ChaT activities were significantly decreased in the cerebral cortex and primary neurons when compared to the untreated group. When pretreated primary neurons with calpain inhibitor PD150606 or cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk5, the downstream complex of calpain) inhibitor Roscovitine, the neurotrophins contents and activities of ChaT and AchE were reverted, along with the improvement of neuron survival compared with BDE-153 treatment alone. The authors concluded that neurotrophins and cholinergic enzymes were regulated by the calpain-2 activation and its downstream cdk5 pathway, and which was involved in the neuronal apoptosis induced by the BDE-153 treatment.
Authors: Zhang H, Yang X, Zhang H, Li X, Zhang Z, Hou L, Wang Z, Niu Q, Wang T. ; Full Source: Toxicology Letters. 2018 Apr 3; 291:29-38. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2018.03.033. [Epub ahead of print]