Toluene, a volatile hydrocarbon found in a variety of chemical compounds, is misused and abused by inhalation for its euphorigenic effects. Toluene's reinforcing properties may share a common characteristic with other drugs of abuse, namely, activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system. Prior studies in our laboratory found that acutely inhaled toluene activated midbrain dopamine neurons in the rat. Moreover, single systemic injections of toluene in rats produced a dose-dependent increase in locomotor activity which was blocked by depletion of nucleus accumbens dopamine or by pretreatment with a D2 dopamine receptor antagonist. Here we examined the effects of seven daily intraperitoneal injections of 600 mg/kg toluene on the content of serotonin and dopamine in the caudate nucleus (CN) and nucleus accumbens (NAC), substantia nigra, and ventral tegmental area at 2, 4, and 24 h after the last injection. Also, the roles of nitric oxide, peroxynitrite, and the production of 3-nitrosotyrosine (3-NT), in the CN and NAC were assessed at the same time points. Toluene treatments increased dopamine levels in the CN and NAC, and serotonin levels in CN, NAC, and ventral tegmental area. Measurements of the dopamine metabolite dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) further suggested a change in transmitter utilization in CN and NAC. Lastly, 3-NT levels also showed a differential change between CN and NAC, but at different time points post-toluene injection. These results point out the complexity of action of toluene on neurotransmitter function following a course of chronic exposure. Changes in the production of 3-NT also suggest that toluene-induced neurotoxicity may mediate via generation of peroxynitrite.
- 3-nitrosotyrosine, nigrostriatal and mesolimbic nuclei
- Oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- History and Philosophy of Science