Interactions of neurotoxicants with neurotransmitter systems.
Toxicology 1988 May; 49(2/3):359-366
In an effort to better understand the mechanisms of neurotoxicity, research concerning the interaction of toxicants with neurotransmitter systems has been reviewed. Specific examples of chemicals which attack one or more of the parameters of neurotransmission were discussed. One or more of the components of neurotransmission have been shown to be affected by compounds of different chemical classes. Carbon-disulfide (75150) increases the level of dopamine and decreases norepinephrine content in the brain. Particular food colors, heavy metals, organometallic compounds, or pesticides each impair the uptake of neurotransmitters. Three classes of pesticides inhibit neurotransmitter degradation. The organophosphates and carbamates inhibit acetylcholinesterase. The formamidines inhibit monoamineoxidase and interact with alpha2- adrenoceptors. Other pesticides, the type-II pyrethroids and several organochlorines interact with the GABA receptor/ionophore complex. Pyrethroids of both type-I and type-II have as their target the axonal sodium channel. One of the problems in studying neurotoxicants is the fact that they often have more than one target. In addition, the observed effects may actually be the result of nonspecific actions on the cell membrane or on cellular metabolism, making it difficult to measure the effect of the neurotransmitter and to assign particular effects to a specific agent. Even so, the authors stress the importance of neurochemical studies as a support to behavioral, electrophysiological, and pathological studies.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Neuropathology; Nervous-system-function; Agricultural-chemicals; Metallic-poisoning; Organo-metallic-compounds; Mercury-compounds; Lead-poisoning; Neurotoxins
Environmental Health University of Washington Dept of Environ Hlth, SC-34 Seattle, WA 98195
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington