Protective Effect of Taurine on the Decreased Biogenic Amine Neurotransmitter Levels in the Brain of Mice Exposed to Arsenic
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Arsenic (As) exposure has a toxic effect on the central nervous system, especially on learning and memory. Norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), and serotonin (5-HT) play an important role in learning and memory function of the brain. In the present study, the protective effect of taurine on the disturbed biogenic amine neurotransmitter levels in the mouse brain induced by arsenic was examined. Sixty SPF mice were divided into three groups. The As exposure group was administered with 4 ppm As2O3 through drinking water for 60 days. The protective group was treated with both 4 ppm As2O3 and 150 mg/kg taurine. The control group was given drinking water alone. The levels of NE, DA, and 5-HT were determined by HPLC in the cerebrum and cerebellum of mice. Ultrastructure of synapses in brain tissue of mice was observed in these groups by transmission electron microscopy. The mRNA expressions of dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) as NE, DA, and 5-HT synzymes were also analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The results showed that the concentrations of NE, DA, and 5-HT; the number of synaptic vesicles; and the expressions of TH, TPH, and DBH genes in the brains of mice exposed to As alone were significantly decreased. However, administration of taurine significantly alleviated the toxic effect on biochemicals detected in the experiment, compared with that in the brain of mice exposed to As alone. These results indicated that taurine was effective in counteracting the decreased biogenic amine neurotransmitter level and the mRNA expressions of their synzymes induced by arsenic.
KeywordsTyrosine Hydroxylase Synaptic Vesicle Tryptophan Hydroxylase Monoamine Neurotransmitter Dopamine Beta Hydroxylase
Dopamine beta hydroxylase
We thank National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30571584) for financial support.
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