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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2005 Sep-Oct;27(5):753-67. Epub 2005 Aug 16.

Mapping and reconstruction of domoic acid-induced neurodegeneration in the mouse brain.

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Marine Biotoxins Program, Coastal Research Branch, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, NOAA-National Ocean Service, 219 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston, SC 29412, USA.


Domoic acid, a potent neurotoxin and glutamate analog produced by certain species of the marine diatom Pseudonitzschia, is responsible for several human and wildlife intoxication events. The toxin characteristically damages the hippocampus in exposed humans, rodents, and marine mammals. Histochemical studies have identified this, and other regions of neurodegeneration, though none have sought to map all brain regions affected by domoic acid. In this study, mice exposed (i.p.) to 4 mg/kg domoic acid for 72 h exhibited behavioral and pathological signs of neurotoxicity. Brains were fixed by intracardial perfusion and processed for histochemical analysis. Serial coronal sections (50 microm) were stained using the degeneration-sensitive cupric silver staining method of DeOlmos. Degenerated axons, terminals, and cell bodies, which stained black, were identified and the areas of degeneration were mapped onto Paxinos mouse atlas brain plates using Adobe Illustrator CS. The plates were then combined to reconstruct a 3-dimensional image of domoic acid-induced neurodegeneration using Amira 3.1 software. Affected regions included the olfactory bulb, septal area, and limbic system. These findings are consistent with behavioral and pathological studies demonstrating the effects of domoic acid on cognitive function and neurodegeneration in rodents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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