Trimethyltin-induced alterations in behavior are linked to changes in PSA-NCAM expression.


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.

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@article{Halladay2006TrimethyltininducedAI, title={Trimethyltin-induced alterations in behavior are linked to changes in PSA-NCAM expression.}, author={Alycia K. Halladay and Denita Takesha-Mashia Wilson and George C. Wagner and Kenneth R. Reuhl}, journal={Neurotoxicology}, year={2006}, volume={27 2}, pages={137-46} }