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Issue Date: 14-Feb-2014
Authors: Malfa, Giuseppe Antonio
Title: Mechanism of action of Methylmercury on human astrocytes: neuroprotection of lipoic acid
Abstract: Astrocytes are actively involved in brain development, in mature CNS regulation and brain plasticity. They play a critical role in response to cerebral injuries and toxicants. A large amount of literature highlights the central role of astrocytes in mediating methylmercury (MeHg) neurotoxicity. In fact, mercury is the major neurotoxic pollutant that continues to arouse interest in research because of the severe risk it poses to human health. It has been widely demonstrated that this metal induces acute or chronic neurotoxicity exacerbating an oxidative stress condition and also age-related conditions, generating inflammatory reactions in the brain. These findings support the hypothesis that MeHg and many other environmental pollutants have the potential to cause neurodegeneration, through a variety of pathways similar to those described in human neurodegenerative diseases. However, despite numerous in vivo and in vitro studies, almost entirely on rat/mouse models, the issue remains controversial and the effects of MeHg in the human population are not completely known. Based on these findings, the aim of this study is to carry out for the first time, according to what has been reported in the literature, an in vitro experimental model that was as attributable as possible to humans, precisely human astrocytes (HA), so as to observe the effects of MeHg on some biochemical-molecular pathways. In parallel, I used HA cell cultures, which were treated with Alpha Dihydrolipoic Acid before being subjected to the action of MeHg in order to evaluate the possible protective effect exerted by this compound with antioxidant and chelating properties on cellular metabolism subjected to stress by MeHg.
Appears in Collections:Area 06 - Scienze mediche

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