Chronic manganese (Mn) exposure produces a neurological syndrome with psychiatric, cognitive, and parkinsonian features. Gene expression profiling in the frontal cortex of Cynomologous macaques receiving 3.3-5.0 mg Mn/kg weekly for 10 months showed that 61 genes were increased and four genes were decreased relative to controls from a total of 6766 genes. Gene changes were associated with cell cycle regulation, DNA repair, apoptosis, ubiquitin-proteasome system, protein folding, cholesterol homeostasis, axonal/vesicular transport, and inflammation. Amyloid-β (Aβ) precursor-like protein 1, a member of the amyloid precursor protein family, was the most highly up-regulated gene. Immunohistochemistry confirmed increased amyloid precursor-like protein 1 protein expression and revealed the presence of diffuse Aβ plaques in Mn-exposed frontal cortex. Cortical neurons and white matter fibers from Mn-exposed animals accumulated silver grains indicative of on-going degeneration. Cortical neurons also exhibited nuclear hypertrophy, intracytoplasmic vacuoles, and apoptosis stigmata. p53 immunolabeling was increased in the cytoplasm of neurons and in the nucleus and processes of glial cells in Mn-exposed tissue. In summary, chronic Mn exposure produces a cellular stress response leading to neurodegenerative changes and diffuse Aβ plaques in the frontal cortex. These changes may explain the subtle cognitive deficits previously demonstrated in these same animals.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Amyloid-β precursor-like protein 1
- Non-human primates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience