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NCTR Research Highlights

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Current Highlight from September 25, 2015

Neuroprotective Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine

NCTR scientists have shown that acetyl-L-carnitine prevented dopamine transporter loss, dopaminergic neuronal-cell death and nerve conduction deficits in a rotenone-induced rat model of Parkinson’s disease.  Rats with prolonged exposure to the pesticide, rotenone, demonstrated decreased motor conduction velocity and increased motor latency. Additionally, immunohistochemical analysis showed decreased tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter staining in brain tissue; whereas co-treatment with acetyl-L-carnitine reduced these effects.  These results are consistent with previous studies demonstrating neuroprotective properties of acetyl-L-carnitine and suggest a potential neuroprotective therapy for Parkinson’s disease.  Results of the study are available online at Neuroscience Lettersdisclaimer icon.

For additional information, please contact Zbigniew Binienda, DVM, Ph.D., or Sumit Sarkar, Ph.D., Division of Neurotoxicology, FDA/NCTR.

Mechanism of Cell Death in Macrophages Infected with Foodborne Salmonella Strain Expressing Cytolethal Distending Toxin

NCTR researchers have discovered that the cytolethal distending toxin B (CdtB) gene may play an important role in determining the toxicity of certain nontyphoidal strains of Salmonella.  This study was featured on the cover of the journal DNA and Cell Biology and is currently available onlinedisclaimer icon

CdtB is a conserved virulence factor in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, which has demonstrated great success as a human pathogen; it is the agent of typhoid fever.  Current research results demonstrate that the CdtB gene can also be found in certain nontyphoidal Salmonella strains including Salmonella Javiana, one of the five most commonly identified serotypes causing human illness in the United States.  This result, combined with other study observation suggests the CdtB virulence factor can spread to other bacteria by horizontal transmission.  Other study results suggest a mechanism by which the CdtB virulence factor would exert an influence on the infectivity of these non-typhoidal strains.  CdtB in S. Javiana was demonstrated to interfere with the role of macrophages causing increased vacuolization and expression of the autophagosome marker LC3.   Autophagy is known to both destroy internalized pathogens, and to destroy the infected cell.

For additional information, please contact Sangeeta Khare, Ph.D., Division of Microbiology, FDA/NCTR.


Contact FDA

National Center for Toxicological Research

Food and Drug Administration

3900 NCTR Road

Jefferson, AR 72079

Page Last Updated: 09/25/2015
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