Neurotoxicant-induced inflammatory response in three-dimensional brain cell cultures.
Monnet-Tschudi F, Zurich MG, Honegger P.
Department of Physiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne,
Brain inflammatory response is triggered by the activation of microglial cells and astrocytes in response to various types of CNS injury, including neurotoxic insults. Its outcome is determined by cellular interactions, inflammatory mediators, as well as trophic and/or cytotoxic signals, and depends on many additional factors such as the intensity and duration of the insult, the extent of both the primary neuronal damage and glial reactivity and the developmental stage of the brain. Depending on particular circumstances, the brain inflammatory response can promote neuroprotection, regeneration or neurodegeneration. Glial reactivity, regarded as the central phenomenon of brain inflammation, has also been used as an early marker of neurotoxicity. To study the mechanisms underlying the glial reactivity, serum-free aggregating brain cell cultures were used as an in vitro model to test the effects of conventional neurotoxicants such as organophosphate pesticides, heavy metals, excitotoxins and mycotoxins. This approach was found to be relevant and justified by the complex cell-cell interactions involved in the brain inflammatory response, the variability of the glial reactions and the multitude of mediators involved. All these variables need to be considered for the elucidation of the specific cellular and molecular reactions and their consequences caused by a given chemical insult. Human & Experimental Toxicology (2007) 26, 339-346.PMID: 17615115 [PubMed - in process]