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Reversal of Lead-Induced Neuronal Apoptosis by Chelation Treatment in Rats: Role of Reactive Oxygen Species and Intracellular Ca2+ *

Lead, a ubiquitous and potent neurotoxicant causes several neurophysiological and behavioral alterations. Toxic properties of lead have been attributed to its capability to mimic calcium and alter calcium homeostasis. In this study, we have addressed the following issues: 1) whether chelation therapy could circumvent the altered Ca2+ homeostasis and prevent neuronal death in chronic lead-intoxicated rats, 2) whether chelation therapy could revert altered biochemical and behavioral changes, 3) whether combinational therapy using two different chelating agents was more advantageous over monotherapy in lead-treated rats, and 4) what could be the mechanism of neuronal apoptosis.
Results indicated that lead caused a significant increase in reactive oxygen species, neuronal nitric-oxide synthetase, and intracellular free calcium levels along with altered behavioral abnormalities in locomotor activity, exploratory behavior, learning, and memory that were supported by changes in neurotransmitter levels. A fall in membrane potential, release of cytochrome c, and altered bcl2/bax ratio indicated mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis. Most of these alterations reverted toward normal level following combination therapy over monotherapy with calcium disodium EDTA (CaNa2EDTA) or monoisoamyl meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (MiADMSA). It could be concluded from our present results that combined therapy with CaNa2EDTA and MiADMSA might be a better treatment protocol than monotherapy with these chelators in lead-induced neurological disorders. We for the first time report the role of Ca2+ in regulating neurological dystrophy caused by chronic lead exposure in rats and its recovery with a two-course treatment regime of mono or combination therapy.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-27-2008
Authors: Swaran J. S. Flora, Geetu Saxena, and Ashish Mehta
Source: Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Defence Research and Development Establishment, Gwalior, India