Trimethyltin intoxication induces marked changes in neuropeptide expression in the rat hippocampus.

Research paper by K K Tsunashima, M M Sadamatsu, Y Y Takahashi, N N Kato, G G Sperk

Indexed on: 14 Jul '98Published on: 14 Jul '98Published in: Synapse


In situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry were applied to investigate changes in the expression of somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, neurokinin B, cholecystokinin, dynorphin, and Met-enkephalin in the rat hippocampus after administration of a single peroral dose of trimethyltin hydroxide (9 mg/kg). Two time intervals were investigated: 5 days after trimethyltin treatment, when CA3 damage becomes manifest and is associated with increased aggression, seizure susceptibility, and memory deficit, and 16 days after trimethyltin, when neuronal damage is almost maximal and seizure susceptibility is declining. Robust but transient increases of neuropeptide Y, neurokinin B, and Met-enkephalin mRNA levels were revealed in the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus and increased neuropeptide Y and neurokinin B immunoreactivities were found in mossy fibers. In reverse, dynorphin mRNA and immunoreactivity were decreased transiently in the dentate gyrus and mossy fibers, respectively. Strong over-expression of NPY mRNA was also observed in hilar interneurons and in CA1 and CA3 pyramidal cells as well as in the cortex at 5 days postdosing. Cholecystokinin- or neurokinin B-containing basket cells were preserved, while somatostatin-bearing interneurons were damaged by trimethyltin exposure. These neurochemical changes induced by trimethyltin intoxication strikingly parallel to those observed in animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy and may reflect activation of endogenous protective mechanisms. It is also suggested that hilar interneurons respond differently to trimethyltin exposure, for which neuropeptides are valuable markers.