Cadmium (Cd) is a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) and the polyether ionophorous antibiotics monensin and salinomycin on Cd-induced neurodegenerative alterations in mice. The results show that subacute intoxication of mice with Cd (II) acetate (20 mg/kg body weight (BW) for 14 days) caused a significant accumulation of cadmium (Cd) in the brain. Treatment of Cd-exposed mice with DMSA (20 mg/kg BW for 14 days) significantly increased the Cd concentration in the brains compared to those of the Cd-treated group. However, administration of monensin (20 mg/kg BW for 14 days) or salinomycin (20 mg/kg BW for 14 days) significantly reduced the Cd concentration in the brains of Cd-treated mice compared to the toxic control group. Histopathological analysis of brain tissues from the Cd-treated mice revealed that Cd induced neuronal necrosis, characterized by many shrunken, darkly stained pyknotic neurons with prominent perineuronal spaces. Whereas monensin and salinomycin significantly reduced the adverse effects of Cd on brain morphology of Cd-treated mice, DMSA did not. Monensin slightly increased the copper and iron endogenous levels in the brains of Cd-exposed mice compared to those of the untreated mice. Salinomycin did not affect the concentrations of biometal ions in the brain of Cd-exposed mice compared to untreated controls. The results demonstrated salinomycin to be a better potential chelating agent for treatment of Cd-induced brain injury compared to DMSA and monensin.
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