, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 402-409
Date: 19 Nov 2011

Postnuclear Supernatant: An In Vitro Model for Assessing Cadmium-Induced Neurotoxicity

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Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic heavy metal commonly found in industrial workplaces, a food contaminant and a major constituent of cigarette smoke. Most of the organs are susceptible to Cd-induced toxicity, including brain. Postnuclear supernatant (PNS) has been accepted as an in vitro model for assessing xenobiotic induced toxicity. The goal of the present study was to validate PNS as an in vitro model for investigating the effect of Cd-induced neurotoxicity. Neurotoxic induction by Cd was established in a dose-dependent manner in PNS in vitro. Enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants were used as biomarkers of exposure. Antioxidant enzymatic activity was measured as a significant increase in activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione S-transferase. On exposure to Cd, a significant increase in acetylcholinesterase and decrease in sodium–potassium ATPase activity was also observed. Non-enzymatic effect was also demonstrated as a significant elevation in reduced glutathione and non-protein thiol activity, but there was no significant increase or decrease in the concentrations of protein thiol. In accordance with the toxicity of Cd towards the studied brain structure, Cd-induced oxidative stress has been a focus of toxicological research as a possible mechanism of neurotoxicity. Our results suggest that PNS preparations can be used as a model for future investigation of xenobiotic-induced neurotoxicity under in vitro conditions.

N.G. and S.C. contributed equally to the study.