Mercury and its compounds have a wide spectrum of toxicities depending upon the chemical forms and modes of exposure. Among the various chemical forms, mercury vapor and methylmercury are well known and established as neurotoxic agents. Since the disasters in Minamata and Iraq, in which fetuses were more susceptible than adults to methylmercury exposure, much attention has been focused on prenatal exposure to mercury and its consequence. Recently postnatal effects of in utero exposure to methylmercury through fish (and marine mammals) consumption by mothers have been concerned and several epidemiological studies have been conducted. Therefore, one of the most seriously concerned issues is the postnatal effects of in utero exposure to methylmercury. Because of these observations in humans, animal experiments have been conducted employing prenatal exposure to low levels of mercury. This paper reviews the animal (rodents) experiments concerning “behavioral teratology” of mercury for better understanding of effects of prenatal exposure to mercury and its compounds in addition to commentary on history and framework of behavioral teratology.
Differences of alcohol drinking behavior, brain dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) levels and releases in the striatum were investigated in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) and age-matched stroke-resistant spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSR). Voluntary alcohol (EtOH) consumption in SHRSP rats increased at 1 and 2 hours in the 4 hour time access. In the DA level, SHRSP showed decreases in the caudate-putamen (C/P) and dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) compared with in SHRSR. 5-HT levels in the C/P, ventral tegmental area-subtantia nigra (V/S) and DRN of the SHRSP were decreased compared with that in SHRSR. The basal extracellular levels of 5-HT release in the C/P were increased in SHRSP as compared with those in SHRSR. K+- or EtOH-induced DA and 5-HT releases in the C/P of the SHRSP were a lower magnitude than those in SHRSR. Increased basal extracellular 5-HT releases showing low levels of 5-HT in the C/P of SHRSP mean an abnormality of serotonergic neuronal functions in a normal physiological condition. Higher voluntary alcohol drinking behavior, so called lower susceptibility to EtOH, in the SHRSP may be associated with the degenerated rewarding system including the DRN. These results suggest that the hypertensive state causes the dysfunction in the striatum of the brain rewarding system and induces the risk for increasing alcohol consumption to compensate for the alteration of serotonergic neurons.
Slip-down from a raised platform was previously found in mice treated with morphine, and this behavior was also recognized in mice treated with a monoamine releaser methamphetamine. Pharmacological examination on the slip-down indicated that the behavior was induced by receptor stimulations by D2 agonist PPHT and 5HT-2 agonist DOI. In mice treated with PPHT, antagonists of D1, α2, 5HT-2 and opioid mu and kappa suppressed the behavior. In mice treated with DOI, antagonists of D1, α2, 5HT-1A, 5HT-3 and opioid mu and delta suppressed the behavior. These present findings suggest that the slip-down was mainly induced by opioid mu receptor activity regulated with monoamine activities. When the slip-down is considered as an anxious behavior, it may be also suggested that the anxiety induced by 5-HT activities furthermore stimulated the behavior via the other opioid receptor activities.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the androgen-ablation-induced morphological changes in the capillaries and stroma near the epithelial cells in prostate and seminal vesicles (SV) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In ventral prostate (VP) and SV of immature male rats, the luminal areas of subepithelial capillaries and the width of the stromal layers between endothelia and epithelia were measured quantitatively after castration using TEM and a computed image analyzer. The luminal areas of the capillaries were significantly reduced in VP and SV in the short-term after castration. In the stromal layer, the width of the collagen layer surrounding the capillary significantly increased in VP and SV in the long-term after castration. These data suggest that the reduction of the capillaries and the thickening of collagen surrounding them are related to the involution of glandular epithelial cells in VP and SV after castration.
Penetrating craniocerebral injuries (PCIs) are the most fatal injuries of the head that usually have a poor outcome. From the parenchymal destructions to ventricular lacerations, a wide variety of damages occurs during the injury. Surgical treatment is still the mainstay of the management in these patients. Twenty-two consecutive patients with supratentorial PCIs were retrospectively evaluated. Conflicts were the main causes of such injuries followed by suicide attempts and accidental gunfires. Shrapnel and bullet were the most wounding agents. All of the patients underwent surgical treatment following clinical and radiological evaluations. Nine of them were died and 7 were rehabilitated because of severe neurological deficits.
Apolipoprotein E (apo E) has an impact on lipid metabolism and its production by macrophages is considered to play a protective role against atherosclerosis. Apo A-I stimulates secretion of apo E from macrophages. We developed a new method to evaluate the ability of human monocyte-derived macrophages to secrete apo E, and the effects of factors such as apo A-I were examined. Monocytes separated from peripheral venous blood were cultured. The levels of apo E in macrophage-conditioned medium were quantified by immunoblotting with an anti-human apo E antiserum conjugated with alkaline phosphatase. The basal levels of apo E secretion and the response to exogenous apo A-I in macrophages from 10 healthy volunteers were measured. Sufficient accuracy and sensitivity were confirmed and coefficient of variation of the method was 18±11% (n=10). It was confirmed that macrophage secreted apo E in a concentration-dependent manner in response to M-CSF and apo A-I. The average apo E concentration in the conditioned medium of macrophages from 10 healthy subjects was 30.9±14.7 ng/mg cell protein. After the addition of apoA-I, the average apo E concentration increased, by about 60%, to 49.4±29.7 ng/mg cell protein (p<0.05). There was a positive correlation between the apo A-I-induced increase and plasma LDL cholesterol levels (r=+0.54, p<0.05).
Leptospirosis is a systemic infection usually producing fever with hepatorenal involvement, meningoencephalitis, and hemorrhage. In this article, we present three children between 10 and 13 years of age with leptospirosis. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize that leptospirosis is a problem in our country with farmers/cattle and that leptospirosis should be considered in certain ill children. The main symptoms were headache, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain and unconsciousness. Two patients had hepatic and renal involvement. The other had hepatic, pulmonary and probably pericardial involvement. In all children spirochetes were demonstrated in blood and urine smears by dark-field microscopy and they were also isolated from urine and blood cultures by using Flecher medium. All patients were treated with penicillin; however, one subsequently required additional antibiotics due to Klebsiella pneumoniae septicemia. While one patient was discharged in a good health, the others were taken to their home by parents without completing treatment. In conclusion, we would like to emphasize that leptospirosis is still a public health problem in our region (Eastern Turkey) in where the majority of population are farmers and raise domestic animals such as cattle in rural areas. Additionally, leptospirosis should be considered in children admitted with headache, unconsciousness, fever and abdominal pain.
Activated soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R) levels are elevated in a variety of diseases associated with T-cell activation. There are no reports of sIL-2R elevations in broncholitis obliterans organizing pneumonia/cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (BOOP/COP), although activated T cells are increased in BOOP/COP. We present a patient with BOOP/COP with an elevated concentration of soluble IL-2 receptors in both serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Concomitant resolution of the high serum sIL-2R and the roentogenographic findings after steroid treatment suggested that serum sIL-2R levels increase in response to a localized lymphocytic inflammatory reaction in the lung.