The NADPH Oxidase Inhibitor, Mitoapocynin, Mitigates DFP-Induced Reactive Astrogliosis in a Rat Model of Organophosphate Neurotoxicity

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Meyer, Christina
Grego, Elizabeth
Vasanthi, Suraj S.
Rao, Nikhil S.
Massey, Nyzil
Holtkamp, Claire
Huss, Joselyn
Showman, Lucas
Thippeswamy, Thimmasettappa
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Nanovaccine Institute
Established at Iowa State University in 2017, the Nanovaccine Institute represents a national, transdisciplinary research consortium to advance nano-based technologies to treat and prevent disease.
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NADPH oxidase (NOX) is a primary mediator of superoxides, which promote oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, and neuroinflammation after diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) intoxication. Although orally administered mitoapocynin (MPO, 10 mg/kg), a mitochondrial-targeted NOX inhibitor, reduced oxidative stress and proinflammatory cytokines in the periphery, its efficacy in the brain regions of DFP-exposed rats was limited. In this study, we encapsulated MPO in polyanhydride nanoparticles (NPs) based on 1,6-bis(p-carboxyphenoxy) hexane (CPH) and sebacic anhydride (SA) for enhanced drug delivery to the brain and compared with a high oral dose of MPO (30 mg/kg). NOX2 (GP91phox) regulation and microglial (IBA1) morphology were analyzed to determine the efficacy of MPO-NP vs. MPO-oral in an 8-day study in the rat DFP model. Compared to the control, DFP-exposed animals exhibited significant upregulation of NOX2 and a reduced length and number of microglial processes, indicative of reactive microglia. Neither MPO treatment attenuated the DFP effect. Neurodegeneration (FJB+NeuN) was significantly greater in DFP-exposed groups regardless of treatment. Interestingly, neuronal loss in DFP+MPO-treated animals was not significantly different from the control. MPO-oral rescued inhibitory neuronal loss in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Notably, MPO-NP and MPO-oral significantly reduced astrogliosis (absolute GFAP counts) and reactive gliosis (C3+GFAP). An analysis of inwardly rectifying potassium channels (Kir4.1) in astroglia revealed a significant reduction in the brain regions of the DFP+VEH group, but MPO had no effect. Overall, both NP-encapsulated and orally administered MPO had similar effects. Our findings demonstrate that MPO effectively mitigates DFP-induced reactive astrogliosis in several key brain regions and protects neurons in CA1, which may have long-term beneficial effects on spontaneous seizures and behavioral comorbidities. Long-term telemetry and behavioral studies and a different dosing regimen of MPO are required to understand its therapeutic potential.
This article is published as Meyer, Christina, Elizabeth Grego, Suraj S. Vasanthi, Nikhil S. Rao, Nyzil Massey, Claire Holtkamp, Joselyn Huss, Lucas Showman, Balaji Narasimhan, and Thimmasettappa Thippeswamy. "The NADPH Oxidase Inhibitor, Mitoapocynin, Mitigates DFP-Induced Reactive Astrogliosis in a Rat Model of Organophosphate Neurotoxicity." Antioxidants 12, no. 12 (2023): 2061. doi: Copyright: © 2023 by the authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://
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