Effect of Bradykinin Postconditioning on Ischemic and Toxic Brain Damage
The neurotoxic heavy metal trimethyltin (TMT) primarily damages neurons of the hippocampus and limbic areas of the temporal lobe, and causes a dose-dependent decrease in the polysialated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) in the mouse hippocampus. In the current study, we attempted to associate deficits in spatial learning following TMT exposure at various stages in learning with changes in levels of NCAM-180 and PSA-NCAM in both the hippocampus and frontal cortex. Mice were treated with TMT either before or after training on a spatial learning paradigm and examined for changes in NCAM and PSA-NCAM 12h later. In the first set of experiments, male BALB/c mice were injected with TMT (2.25 mg/kg) or saline i.p. and tested 24-168 h later using hidden and visible versions of the water maze, as well as light avoidance and motor activity. Mice in both treated and control groups which demonstrated a significant improvement in water maze performance also showed an elevation in hippocampal PSA-NCAM at all time points examined. TMT exposure impaired spatial learning and blocked learning-induced elevations in PSA-NCAM expression 24-96 h post-treatment, but these deficits disappeared by 168 h post-treatment. Mice exposed to TMT during reconsolidation of spatial learning (after repeated water maze training) demonstrated a mild and transient difference in escape latency compared to saline exposed mice. TMT administration during this period did not result in the attenuation of PSA-NCAM expression observed when animals were exposed before training. These results confirm a specific role for PSA-NCAM in acquisition and consolidation of spatial memory.