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  1. Delineating Toxicity Pathways of Peripheral Neuropathy David Herr, Ph.D. Neurotoxicology Division US EPA RTP, NC McKim Conference on Predictive Toxicology

  2. What is Neurotoxicity? • Neurotoxicity: “An adverse change in the structure or function of the central and/or peripheral nervous system following exposure to a chemical, physical, or biological agent”1 • Adverse Effect: “Alterations from baseline or normal conditions that diminish an organism’s ability to survive, reproduce, or adapt to the environment”1 1Guidelines for Neurotoxicity Risk Assessment Federal Register, 63(93):26926-26954, 1998 http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/raf/recordisplay.cfm?deid=12479

  3. Complexity of Nervous System • Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) • Peripheral Nerves • Neuromuscular Junction • Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) • Central Nervous System (CNS) • Characteristics that increase vulnerability • High energy requirements • Electrical transmission of action potentials and chemical transmission • Long spatial extensions (axons) and large cell volumes • Need to transport cellular material

  4. Behavioral • Parasthesias • Increased reaction time • Vibrotactile abnormalities • Paralysis Signs of Peripheral/Central Neuropathies • Biochemical • Neurofilament accumulations • Changes in axonal transport • Altered myelin • Altered ion gradients • Physiological • Decreased amplitudes of nerve action potentials • Decreased nerve conduction velocity • Denervation potentials in muscles • Alterations in somatosensory evoked potentials • Pathological • Neuronal / Axonal degeneration • Changes in myelin

  5. QSAR NRC 21st Centrury Toxicology Testing Paradigm Reversibility Systems Biology: Define normal function and its bounds, where further insult compromises function and leads to toxicity NRC, 2007

  6. Patterns of Neurotoxic Injury • Neuronopathy: Death of entire neuron • Astrocyte proliferation • Axonopathy: Axon degenerates • Neuronal chromatolysis • Nissl substance and nucleus to periphery • Myelinopathy: Injury to Schwann or Oligodendrocytes Adapted From: Anthony et al., Casarett & Doull, 2001

  7. Types of Toxicity – Neuronopathies • Primary “Neuronal” Site of Action • Metabolic Inhibitors: 6-Amino-nicotinamide, arsenic • Inhibit DNA/Protein Synthesis: cloramphenicol, doxorubicin • Protein Binding: thallium, methyl mercury (?) • Excitotoxicity: B-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) • Multiple chemical classes, Modes of action(s) • No single event leads to neuronal death • Overwhelm repair process = f:(dose, duration, persistence, repair) • Can model NMDA receptors, metabolic inhibitors (?), propensity for protein binding (?), etc… • What is critical event to produce neuropathy?

  8. Types of Toxicity - Axonopathies • Classical Agents: • Gamma-Diketones (Hexane, 2,5-Hexanedione, n-butyl ketone) • Carbon Disulfide • B,B’-Iminodipropionitrile • Acrylamide • Zinc Pyridinethione Adapted From: Anthony et al., Casarett & Doull, 2001

  9. CS2 reacts with amino groups Gamma-Diketone reacts with amino groups Mechanisms of PNS Toxicity - n-hexane and CS2 Dithiocarbamate adducts with lysyl amino groups Pyrrole Formation Isothiocyanate adducts react with protein nucleophiles Pyrrole Oxidation N,S-dialkyldithiocarbamate esters are slowly reversible Thiourea adducts are irreversible Covalent Protein X-Linking Adapted From: Anthony et al., Casarett & Doull, 2001

  10. Irreversible = OPIDN Reversible = No OPIDN Mechanisms of PNS Toxicity - OPIDN Group A: Phosphonates = phosphorofluoridates = phosphonofluoridates = phophorodiaminodofluoridates = phosphoroamidofluoridates > phosphates > phosphorotrithioates > phosphorothioates = phosphonothioates = phosphinofluoridates > phosphorochloridates Adapted From: O’Callaghan, 2003 Winthrow et al., 2003 Massicotte, 1998 Chambers and Levi, 1992

  11. Mechanisms of PNS Toxicity - Axonopathy • Primary “Axonal” Site of Action • Neurofilament Cross-Linking: 2,5-Hexanedione, 3,4-dimethyl-hexanedione, CH3n-butyl ketone, CS2 • Distal -> central • Altered Axonal Transport: IDPN (anteriorgrade), pyridinethione (retrograde), acrylamide? (nerve terminal) • Organophosphate-Induced Delayed Neuropathy: Tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate (TOCP), O-ethyl O-4-nitrophenylphenylphosphonothioate (EPN), leptophos • Neuropathy Target Esterase (NTE) – Requires aging?, delayed for 7-10 days (after cholinergic signs) • Actions on Microtubules: Colchicine, vincristine, vinblastine, paclitaxel • Bind to tubulin, depolymerization of microtubules (or stabilization – paclitaxel) • Perhaps the best predictive capabilities

  12. Mechanisms of PNS Toxicity - Myelinopathy • Primary “Glial” Site of Action • Intramyelinic Edema: Hexachlorophene, acetylethyltetramethyl tetralin (AETT), ethidium bromide, triethyltin • Splitting of intraperiod line (PNS and CNS), Spongiosis of brain • Demylenation: Tellurium, amiodarone, disulfiram, lysolecithin, perhexilene, lead • Schwann cells lose ability to maintain myelin and/or die • Disassemble concentric layers of myelin • Largest axons > smaller axons • Metabolic Disruptors: 6-ANT, Metronidazole, fluroacetate/flurocitrate, methionine sulfoximine, disulfiram • Disrupt mitochondiral metabolism, TCA cycle, ATP production, glutamine synthetase, chelates cations • Altered glutamine metabolism

  13. Cell nutrients Energy balance Required co-factors Axonal Transport Biologic Interaction f:(damage,repair) Perturbation Cell nutrients Energy balance Protein synthesis/activity Ca+2 balance ROS Ion gradients Metabolic inhibition (MT) DNA/Protein disruption Excitotoxicity Membrane turnover ? Toxic Pathway(s) Exposure ADME Neuronal Death ? NTE inhibition X-linking Neurofilaments Trophic factors Glutamine metabolism Lipid metabolism Supportive function Ion gradients Glial effects

  14. Challenges for the Future – Systems Biology and QSAR • System-level understanding of biological processes • Initiating events and subsequent downstream critical events • Model Components: • Structure of the system (gene regulatory systems, biochemical networks, and physical structures) • Dynamics (changes over time) of the system, both quantitatively and qualitatively • Theory/model needs predictive capability • Biological controls of the system • Appropriate tools to design the system

  15. Physiological Systems & Function Top-Down Systems Organs Middle-Out Cells Tissues Pathways Organelles Bottom-Up Molecular Data & Mechanisms Moving to the Future - Modeling Strategies Modified From: Noble, 2003

  16. Thanks for your time and attention!

  17. Metabolic inhibitors • DNA/Protein synthesis/function • Oxidative stress • Excitotoxicity • ? • Loss of ion gradients – mitochondrial uncoupling • Altered lipid metabolism • Metabolic disruption • Altered glutamine metabolism • ? Toxic Pathway(s) • Membrane turnover • Inhibition of NTE • ? • Neurofilament X-linking • Axonal transport • Lack of “cell constituents” • Ion chelation • ?

  18. Types of Validity • Content Validity: Does the effect result from exposure to a substance (dose-related) • Construct Validity: Does the test measure what we think it does? Is the effect adverse or toxicologically relevant? • Concurrent Validity: Correlative measures among other endpoints (biochemical, physiological, behavioral, pathological) • Predictive Validity: Do the results predict what will happen under various conditions? Are the results predictive of human effects?