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Effect of dextromethorphan on the neurotoxicity of methyl mercury in rats

XIN Xin,XU Zhao-fa,DENG Xiao-qiang,TIAN Ya-wen,HU Yue-ming,LI Yin(Department of Environmental Health,School of Public Health,China Medical University,Shenyang 110001,China)  
Objective To explore the effect of dextromethorphan(DM)on the neurotoxicity induced by methyl mercury.Methods Thirty-two Wistar rats were randomly divided into 4 groups,which were control group,low dose of methyl-mercuric chloride(MMC)group,high dose of MMC group and DM intervention group;8 rats in each group.Rats in the former three groups were subcutaneously(sc)injected with 0.9% NaCl,rats in fourth group were sc.injected with 13.5 μmol/kg DM,every other day for four weeks(12 times).Two hours later,the control rats were intraperitoneally(ip)injected with 0.9% NaCl,rats of second group were injected with 4 μmol/kg MMC,rats of third and fourth group were injected with 12 μmol/kg MMC,five times a week,for 4 weeks.Twenty-four hours after the last injection,rats were sacrificed,content of malondialdehyde(MDA)as well as the activities of glutamine synthetase(GS),phosphate activated glutaminase(PAG),superoxide dismutase(SOD)and glutathione peroxidase(GSH-Px)in cerebral cortex of rat were determined.Results Compared with control group,cerebral cortex contents of MDA and the activity of PAG in MMC treated group were increased,the activities of GS,SOD and GSH-Px in cerebral cortex of rat were decreased;while the contents of MDA and the activity of PAG in DM group were decreased,and the activities of GS,SOD and GSH-Px in the cortex of rat were increased compared with those of MMC treated group.Conclusions The results suggested that methyl mercury might disturb the"Glutamate and Glutamine Cycle"in cerebral cortex and induce oxidative damage and dextromethorphan might have antagonistic ability on the neurotoxicity and oxidative damage of MMC in rats.
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