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Immediate and delayed effects of subchronic Paraquat exposure during an early differentiation stage in 3D-rat brain cell cultures.
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: ppublish
Xenobiotic exposure is a risk factor in the etiology of neurodegenerative disease. It was recently hypothesized that restricted exposure during brain development could predispose for a neurodegenerative disease later in life. As neuroinflammation contributes to progressive neurodegeneration, it is suspected that neurodevelopmental xenobiotic exposure could elicit a neuroinflammatory process, which over time may assume a detrimental character. We investigated the neurotoxic effects of paraquat (PQ) in three-dimensional whole rat brain cell cultures, exposed during an early differentiation stage, comparing immediate effects-directly post exposure-with long-term effects, 20 days after interrupted PQ-administration. Adverse effects and neuroinflammatory responses were assessed by measuring changes in gene- and protein-expression as well as by determining cell morphology changes. Differentiating neural cultures were highly susceptible to PQ and showed neuronal damage and strong astrogliosis. After the 20-day washout period, neurons partially recovered, whereas astrogliosis persisted, and was accompanied by microglial activation of a neurodegenerative phenotype. Our data shows that immediate and long-term effects of subchronic PQ-exposure differ. Also, PQ-exposure during this window of extensive neuronal differentiation led to a delayed microglial activation, of a character that could promote further pro-inflammatory signals that enable prolonged inflammation, thereby fueling further neurodegeneration.
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