Volume 110 (2009) Issue 4 Pages 424-436
The organotin trimethyltin (TMT) is known to cause neuronal degeneration in the murine brain. Earlier studies indicate that TMT-induced neuronal degeneration is enhanced by adrenalectomy. However, no evaluation has been attempted to determine the mechanism underlying the enhancement of TMT neurotoxicity by adrenalectomy and its implications in neuronal degeneration. To assess the implications and determine the mechanism of adrenalectomy-elicited enhancement of TMT neurotoxicity, we examined neuronal degeneration and associated signaling pathways in adrenalectomized mice. Adrenalectomy dramatically enhanced the TMT-induced neuronal damage in certain brain regions including the dentate gyrus, olfactory bulb, and anterior olfactory nucleus, in addition to exacerbating the behavioral abnormalities. TMT-induced activation of caspase-3 and calpain was also enhanced by adrenalectomy. The above events elicited by TMT were almost entirely prevented by treatment with dexamethasone. In addition to the above events, adrenalectomy clearly enhanced the activation of c-Jun-N-terminal kinases and the formation of 4-hydroxynonenal in the dentate gyrus following TMT treatment. The dentate granule cell damage induced by TMT was exacerbated by mifepristone, a glucocorticoid-receptor antagonist. Taken together, our data suggest that endogenous and exogenous glucocorticoids prevent neurodegeneration induced by TMT in the central nervous system by attenuating intensive oxidative stress and associated signaling pathways.