Effect on the dopaminergic metabolism induced by oral exposure to simazine during the prepubertal period in rats
- Xueting Li
- Jia Yu
- Yanping Wu
- Baixiang Li
Published online on: October 20, 2017
The herbicide simazine is widely used in agricultural and non-agricultural fields. Studies have shown that simazine inhibits the proliferation of dopaminergic cells and affects the developmental differentiation of dopamine neurons. However, little is known about the effects of simazine on dopaminergic metabolism. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of simazine on Sprague‑Dawley (SD) rats from weaning to puberty (40 days exposure). Simazine was administered orally to SD rats at doses of 0, 12.5, 50 and 200 mg/kg body weight. The contents of dopamine (DA), levodopa, dihydroxy-phenyl-acetic acid and homovanillic acid in the striatum were then examined by high-performance liquid chromatography with a fluorescence detector. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting were used to analyze the mRNA and protein expression of aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC), tyrosine hydroxylase, orphan nuclear hormone (Nurr1), dopamine transporter (DAT), vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), monoamine oxidase (MAO) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). The results indicated that simazine influenced the synthesis, transport and metabolism of DA and led to a reduction of DA levels in the striatum. One potential underlying mechanism is decreased levels of Nurr1, DAT and VMAT2 impacting upon the transport of DA; another is the decreased level of AADC and increased levels of MAO and COMT impacting upon the synthesis and metabolism of DA. These factors may eventually lead to neurological disorders of the dopaminergic system.