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Environ Res. 1998 Jan;76(1):41-51.

Neurotoxic effects of fractionated diesel exhausts following microinjections in rat hippocampus and striatum.

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Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Exhaust emissions from a heavy-duty diesel vehicle, separated into particulate and semivolatile phases and thereafter fractionated according to polarity, were studied in the adult rat brain after intracranial microinjections using cresyl violet staining and immunohistochemistry. Intrastriatal as well as intrahippocampal injections of particulate fractions III [containing mononitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)], IV (dinitro-PAH and quinones) and V (polar material) and of semivolatile fractions IV and V, in amounts corresponding to a driven length of 19.5 m, caused major lesions with tissue loss and disappearance of immunoreactivity for glial fibrillary acidic protein, tyrosine hydroxylase, and acetylcholine esterase. Particulate fractions I ("light" aliphatic hydrocarbons) and II ("heavy" aliphatic hydrocarbons and PAH) and semivolatile fraction III produced smaller lesions; semivolatile fractions I and II led to lesions equivalent to those of the vehicle dimethyl sulfoxide alone. Microinjected doses of particulate fractions III or IV corresponding to driven lengths of 2.0 and 9.8 m produced a variable lesion. Thus, fractions containing nitro-derivatives of PAH, quinones, and polar material caused the greatest damage after intracranial injections. It is concluded that intracerebral microinjections of fractionated motor vehicle exhausts provide a method for systematic testing of direct neurotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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