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Astrocytes are essential for removal of glutamate from the extracellular space in the central nervous system. The neurotoxic heavy metal methylmercury potently and specifically inhibits the transport of glutamate in cultured astrocytes by an unknown mechanism. Glutamate transport in astrocytes is also inhibited by reactive oxygen species. A(More)
Neuroglial cells of the central nervous system include the astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia. Their counterparts in the peripheral nervous system are the Schwann cells. The term neuroglia comes from an erroneous concept originally coined by Virchow (1850), in which he envisioned the neurons to be embedded in a layer of connective tissue. The term,(More)
One of the vitally important functions of glutathione (GSH) is to adequately protect cells against toxic chemicals, reactive oxygen metabolites and free radical species. The amino acid, cysteine, is the key rate-limiting substrate for the biosynthesis of GSH, and the maintenance of adequate intracellular GSH levels is dependent upon the extracellular(More)
Methylmercury (MeHg) is a significant environmental contaminant that will continue to pose great risk to human health. Considerable attention in the scientific and health policy fora is focused on the question of whether MeHg intake from a diet high in fish is associated with aberrant CNS function. A number of recent studies (Kjellstrom et al., 1986:(More)
Maintenance of adequate intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels is vital for intracellular defense against oxidative damage. The toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg) are attributable, at least in part, to elevated levels of reactive oxygen species, and thus decreases in GSH synthesis may increase methylmercury toxicity. Astrocytes have recently been(More)
Glutamate released during acute CNS insults acts at metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR), including group I mGluR. Blockade of group I mGluR during in vitro neuronal trauma provides neuroprotection, whereas activation exacerbates such injury. However, the effects of group I mGluR agonists or antagonists have been primarily studied in in vitro models(More)
Metallothionein (MT) proteins play an important role in the detoxification of heavy metals. Since methylmercury (MeHg) preferentially accumulates in astrocytes, we investigated the ability of the astrocyte-specific MT isoform, MT-I, to attenuate MeHg-induced cytotoxicity. Increased astrocytic MT expression was achieved by 24-h pretreatment of neonatal rat(More)
The maintenance of adequate intracellular glutathione (GSH) concentrations is dependent on the availability and transport of the rate-limiting substrate, cysteine. A suggested mechanism of methylmercury (MeHg) neurotoxicity in brain involves the formation of oxygen radicals, and a decrease in intracellular levels of GSH. Recently, we have characterized(More)
beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and has been reported to induce apoptotic death in cell culture. Cysteine proteases, a family of enzymes known as caspases, mediate cell death in many models of apoptosis. Multiple caspases have been implicated in Abeta toxicity; these reports are conflicting. We show(More)