Serum myoglobin, but not lipopolysaccharides, is predictive of AMPH-induced striatal neurotoxicity

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Determinants of amphetamine (AMPH)-induced neurotoxicity are poorly understood. The role of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and organ injury in AMPH-induced neurotoxicity was examined in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats that were give AMPH and became hyperthermic during the exposure. Environmentally-induced hyperthermia (EIH) in the rat was compared to AMPH to determine whether AMPH-induced increases in LPS and peripheral toxicities were solely attributable to hyperthermia. Muscle, liver, and kidney function were determined biochemically at 3 h or 1 day after AMPH or EIH exposure and histopathology at 1 day after treatment. Circulating levels of LPS were monitored (via limulus amoebocyte coagulation assay) during AMPH or EIH exposure. Blood LPS levels were detected in 40–50% of the AMPH and EIH rats, but the presence of LPS in the serum had no effect on organ damage or striatal dopamine depletions (neurotoxicity). In both CR and NCTR rats, serum bound urea nitrogen and creatinine levels increased at 3 h after EIH or AMPH (2- to 3-fold above control) but subsided by 1 day. Alanine transaminase was increased (indicating liver dysfunction) by both AMPH and EIH at 3 h (2- to 10-fold above control) in CR rats, but the levels were not significantly different between the control and AMPH groups in NCTR animals. Mild liver necrosis was detected in 1 of 7 rats examined in the AMPH group and in 1 of 5 rats examined in the EIH group (only NCTR rats were examined). Serum myoglobin increased (indicating muscle damage) in both CR and NCTR rats at 3 h and was more pronounced with AMPH (≈5-fold above control) than EIH. Our results indicate that: (1) “free” blood borne LPS often increases with EIH and AMPH but may not be necessary for striatal neurotoxicity and CNS immune responses; (2) liver or kidney dysfunction may result from muscle damage; however, it is not sufficient nor necessary to produce, but may exacerbate, neurotoxicity; (3) AMPH-induced serum myoglobin release is a potential biomarker and possibly a factor in AMPH-induced toxicity processes.

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