Canadian boreal pulp and paper feedstocks contain neuroactive substances that interact in vitro with GABA and dopaminergic systems in the brain.

Abstract

Pulp and paper wood feedstocks have been previously implicated as a source of chemicals with the ability to interact with or disrupt key neuroendocrine endpoints important in the control of reproduction. We tested nine Canadian conifers commonly used in pulp and paper production as well as 16 phytochemicals that have been observed in various pulp and paper mill effluent streams for their ability to interact in vitro with the enzymes monoamine oxidase (MAO), glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), and GABA-transaminase (GABA-T), and bind to the benzodiazepine-binding site of the GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)-BZD). These neuroendocrine endpoints are also important targets for treatment of neurological disorders such as anxiety, epilepsy, or depression. MAO and GAD were inhibited by various conifer extracts of different polarities, including major feedstocks such as balsam fir, black spruce, and white spruce. MAO was selectively stimulated or inhibited by many of the tested phytochemicals, with inhibition observed by a group of phenylpropenes (e.g. isoeugenol and vanillin). Selective GAD inhibition was also observed, with all of the resin acids tested being inhibitory. GABA(A)-BZD ligand displacement was also observed. We compiled a table identifying which of these phytochemicals have been described in each of the species tested here. Given the diversity of conifer species and plant chemicals with these specific neuroactivities, it is reasonable to propose that MAO and GAD inhibition reported in effluents is phytochemical in origin. We propose disruption of these neuroendocrine endpoints as a possible mechanism of reproductive inhibition, and also identify an avenue for potential research and sourcing of conifer-derived neuroactive natural products.

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.08.040

Cite this paper

@article{Waye2014CanadianBP, title={Canadian boreal pulp and paper feedstocks contain neuroactive substances that interact in vitro with GABA and dopaminergic systems in the brain.}, author={Andrew Waye and Malar Annal and Andrew T. K. Tang and Gabriel Picard and Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Harnois and J Antonio Guerrero-Analco and Ammar Saleem and L Mark Hewitt and Craig B Milestone and Deborah L Maclatchy and Vance L. Trudeau and John T Arnason}, journal={The Science of the total environment}, year={2014}, volume={468-469}, pages={315-25} }