Title: Astrocytes in methylmercury, ammonia, methionine sulfoximine and alcohol-induced neurotoxicity.
Authors: Aschner, M; Allen, J W
Published In Neurotoxicology, (2000 Aug)
Abstract: Astrocytes occupy approximately 25% of the CNS volume. Their "foot" processes are closely associated with synapses, nodes of Ranvier, axonal tracts, and capillaries. Astrocytic functions include neurotrophic factor secretion, control of extracellular pH, inactivation of glutamate, as well as uptake and metabolism of neurotransmitters. Astrocyte-neuron interactions provide strategic sites for actions of numerous chemical compounds. In this manuscript, we discuss examples of toxins that directly affect astrocyte function (methylmercury, ammonia, methionine sulfoximine, and alcohol), leading to an altered homeostatic control of the extracellular milieu and neuronal dysfunction. In addition, the potential role of astrocytic proteins, the metallothioneins, in attenuating the neurotoxicity of methylmercury is discussed.
PubMed ID: 11022864
MeSH Terms: Animals; Astrocytes/drug effects*; Astrocytes/pathology; Central Nervous System Depressants/toxicity*; Ethanol/toxicity*; Humans; Methionine Sulfoximine/toxicity*; Methylmercury Compounds/toxicity*; Neurotoxicity Syndromes/pathology*; Quaternary Ammonium Compounds/toxicity*; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.