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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2005 Oct-Dec;18(4):683-9.

Aluminum impairs rat neural cell mitochondria in vitro.

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Institute of Occupational Medicine, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, P. R.China.


Exposure to aluminum has been reported to lead to neurotoxicity. Mitochondria are important organelles involved in maintaining cell function. This study investigates the effect of aluminum on mitochondria in rat neural cells. The ultrastructure of mitochondria was observed, and the cell death rate (CDR), reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and 3-[4,5demethyl-2-thiazalyl]-2,-5diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) were measured to investigate the effect of aluminum on the mitochondrial structure and its function in neural cells. Results observed from the mitochondrial ultrastructure show that aluminum may impair the mitochondrial membrane and cristae. Increased CDR, enhanced ROS, decreased MMP, and decreased enzyme activity in mitochondria were observed in the Al-exposed neurons (100 500 microM). The present study demonstrates that alteration in the mitochondrial structure and function plays an important role in neurotoxic mechanisms induced by aluminum.

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