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Taurine 11 pp 801-819 | Cite as

Assessing the Anxiolytic Properties of Taurine-Derived Compounds in Rats Following Developmental Lead Exposure: A Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pharmacological Pilot Study

  • Lorenz S. NeuwirthEmail author
  • Bright U. Emenike
  • Eddy D. Barrera
  • Nimra Hameed
  • Samantha Rubi
  • Teddy F. DaciusJr.
  • Jourvonn C. Skeen
  • Jalen R. Bonitto
  • Eric Khairi
  • Asma Iqbal
  • Isra Ahmed
  • Tokunbo J. Jose
  • Kirsten Lynch
  • Maheen Khan
  • Amber L. Alvira
  • Neena Mathew
  • Sukhpreet Kaur
  • Sidrah Masood
  • Bettina Tranquilee
  • Veni Thiruverkadu
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1155)

Abstract

Lead (Pb2+) is a developmental neurotoxicant that causes alterations in the brain’s excitation-to-inhibition (E/I) balance. By increasing chloride concentration through GABA-ARs, taurine serves as an effective inhibitory compound for maintaining appropriate levels of brain excitability. Considering this pharmacological mechanism of taurine facilitated inhibition through the GABA-AR, the present pilot study sought to explore the anxiolytic potential of taurine derivatives. Treatment groups consisted of the following developmental Pb2+-exposures: Control (0 ppm) and Perinatal (150 ppm or 1000 ppm lead acetate in the drinking water). Rats were scheduled for behavioral tests between postnatal days (PND) 36–45 with random assignments to either solutions of Saline, Taurine, or Taurine Derived compounds (i.e., TD-101, TD-102, or TD-103) to assess the rats’ responsiveness to each drug in mitigating the developmental Pb2+-exposure through the GABAergic system. Long Evans Hooded rats were assessed using an Open Field (OF) test for preliminary locomotor assessment. Approximately 24-h after the OF, the same rats were exposed to the Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) and were given an i.p. injection of 43 mg/Kg of the Saline, Taurine, or TD drugs 15-min prior to testing. Each rat was tested using the random assignment method for each pharmacological condition, which was conducted using a triple-blind procedure. The OF data revealed that locomotor activity was unaffected by Pb2+-exposure with no gender differences observed. However, Pb2+-exposure induced an anxiogenic response in the EPM, which interestingly, was ameliorated in a gender-specific manner in response to taurine and TD drugs. Female rats exhibited more anxiogenic behavior than the male rats; and as such, exhibited a greater degree of anxiety that were recovered in response to Taurine and its derivatives as a drug therapy. The results from the present psychopharmacological pilot study suggests that Taurine and its derivatives could provide useful data for further exploring the pharmacological mechanisms and actions of Taurine and the associated GABAergic receptor properties by which these compounds alleviate anxiety as a potential behavioral pharmacotherapy for treating anxiety and other associated mood disorders.

Keywords

Anxiety Elevated plus maze Lead poisoning Developmental neurotoxicity Taurine GABAergic system Psychopharmacotherapy 

Abbreviations

Pb2+

Lead

TD

Taurine derivatives

E/I

Excitation-to-inhibition

BLL

Blood lead levels

GAD

Glutamic acid decarboxylase

PND

Postnatal day

EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetracetic acid

ASV

Anodic stripping voltammetry

OF

Open field

EPM

Elevated plus maze

OTC

Open-to-closed ratio

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by a SUNY Old Westbury Faculty Development grant awarded to L.S.N. We would like to thank the Co-Directors of the SUNY Old Westbury Collegiate-Science Technology Entry Program (C-STEP) Dr. Patrick Cadet and Mrs. Monique Clark for supporting underrepresented minority (URM) research students. The following URM students were supported by the C-STEP program: E.D.B, N.H., S.R., T.F.D. Jr., J.C.S., J.R.B, E.K., A.I., I.A., T.J.J., K.L., A.L.A., & B.T. Lastly, we would like to thank the Biology, Chemistry & Physics Department, and the SUNY-Neuroscience Research Institute for sharing resources and space allocations to conduct this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenz S. Neuwirth
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bright U. Emenike
    • 3
  • Eddy D. Barrera
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nimra Hameed
    • 2
    • 4
  • Samantha Rubi
    • 2
    • 4
  • Teddy F. DaciusJr.
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jourvonn C. Skeen
    • 2
    • 4
  • Jalen R. Bonitto
    • 2
    • 4
  • Eric Khairi
    • 2
    • 4
  • Asma Iqbal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Isra Ahmed
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tokunbo J. Jose
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kirsten Lynch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maheen Khan
    • 2
    • 5
  • Amber L. Alvira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Neena Mathew
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sukhpreet Kaur
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sidrah Masood
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bettina Tranquilee
    • 2
    • 4
  • Veni Thiruverkadu
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySUNY Old WestburyOld WestburyUSA
  2. 2.SUNY Neuroscience Research InstituteSUNY Old WestburyOld WestburyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry & PhysicsSUNY Old WestburyOld WestburyUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologySUNY Old WestburyOld WestburyUSA
  5. 5.Department of NeuroscienceJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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