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Arch Toxicol. 2014 Mar;88(3):769-80. doi: 10.1007/s00204-013-1174-6. Epub 2013 Dec 7.

Cytotoxic effects of acrylamide in nerve growth factor or fibroblast growth factor 1-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells.

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Institute of Cellular and System Medicine, National Health Research Institutes, 35, Keyan Rd, Miaoli, 350, Taiwan.


Acrylamide is a neurological and reproductive toxicant in humans and laboratory animals; however, the neuron developmental toxicity of acrylamide remains unclear. The aims of this study are to investigate the cytotoxicity and neurite outgrowth inhibition of acrylamide in nerve growth factor (NGF)- or fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1)-mediated neural development of PC12 cells. MTS assay showed that acrylamide treatment suppresses NGF- or FGF1-induced PC12 cell proliferation in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Quantification of neurite outgrowth demonstrated that 0.5 mM acrylamide treatment resulted in significant decrease in differentiation of NGF- or FGF1-stimulated PC12 cells. This decrease is accompanied with the reduced expression of growth-associated protein-43, a neuronal marker. Moreover, relative levels of pERK, pAKT, pSTAT3 and pCREB were increased within 5-10 min when PC12 cells were treated with NGF or FGF1. Acrylamide (0.5 mM) decreases the NGF-induced activation of AKT-CREB but not ERK-STAT3 within 20 min. Similarly, acrylamide (0.5 mM) decreases the FGF1-induced activation of AKT-CREB within 20 min. In contrast to the NGF treatment, the ERK-STAT3 activation that was induced by FGF1 was slightly reduced by 0.5 mM acrylamide. We further showed that PI3K inhibitor (LY294002), but not MEK inhibitor (U0126), could synergize with acrylamide (0.5 mM) to reduce the cell viability and neurite outgrowth in NGF- or FGF1-stimulated PC12 cells. Moreover, acrylamide (0.5 mM) increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) activities in NGF- or FGF1-stimulated PC12 cells. This increase was reversed by Trolox (an ROS scavenging agent) co-treatment. Together, our findings reveal that NGF- or FGF1-stimulation of the neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells is attenuated by acrylamide through the inhibition of PI3K-AKT-CREB signaling, along with the production of ROS.

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