Analysis of biomodulatory properties and neurotoxicity of lunar dust analogue

1Nazarova, AG, 1Pozdnyakova, NG, 1Voronova, OO, 1Chunihin, OYu., 1Piskova, MV, 1Pastukhov, AO, 1Borysov, AA, 1Krisanova, NV, 1Borisova, TO
1Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Kosm. nauka tehnol. 2015, 21 ;(4):103–111
Section: Space Life Sciences
Publication Language: Ukrainian

During inhalation, nano-/microsized particles of lunar dust are efficiently deposited in nasal, tracheobronchial, and alveolar regions and transported to the central nervous system. The neurotoxic potential of lunar dust has not yet been assessed. The research was focused on the analysis of the effects of lunar dust analogue on the key characteristics of glutamatergic neurotransmission. Disturbances in glutamate homeostasis contribute to the pathogenesis of major neurological disorders. The average size of particles of lunar dust analogue (JSC-1a, Lunar Soil Simulant, Orbitec, USA) before and after sonication was determined by dynamic light scattering. With the use of radiolabeled L-[14C]glutamate, it was shown that there is an increase in L-[14C]glutamate binding to isolated rat brain nerve terminals (synaptosomes) in low [Na+] media in the presence of lunar dust analogue that led to an apparent increase in the initial velocity of L-[14C]glutamate uptake by 10 % in control rats, and those underwent to gravitational overload. Thus, the unique effect of lunar dust analogue to increase glutamate binding to the nerve terminals was shown. This can have deleterious effects on the extracellular glutamate homeostasis in the central nervous system that is extremely important for proper synaptic transmission. During a long-term mission, a combination of constant irritation due to dust particles, inflammation, stress, low gravity and microgravity, radiation, UV, and so on may consequently change the effects of the dust and                                    

aggravate neurological consequences. 

Keywords: lunar soil simulant; glutamate transport; glutamatergic neurotransmission; brain nerve terminals

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