Arsenic alters nitric oxide signaling similar to autism spectrum disorder and Alzheimer’s disease-associated mutations

Manish Kumar Tripathi, Maryam Kartawy, Shelly Ginzburg, Haitham Amal*

*Corresponding author for this work

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14 Scopus citations


Epidemiological studies have proven that exposure to Arsenic (AS) leads to the development of many neurological disorders. However, few studies have investigated its molecular mechanisms in the brain. Our previous work has revealed nitric oxide (NO)-mediated apoptosis and SNO reprogramming in the cortex following arsenic treatment, yet the role of NO and S-nitrosylation (SNO) in AS-mediated neurotoxicity has not been investigated. Therefore, we have conducted a multidisciplinary in-vivo study in mice with two different doses of Sodium Arsenite (SA) (0.1 ppm and 1 ppm) in drinking water. We used the novel SNOTRAP-based mass spectrometry method followed by the bioinformatics analysis, Western blot validation, and five different behavioral tests. Bioinformatics analysis of SA-treated mice showed significant SNO-enrichment of processes involved in mitochondrial respiratory function, endogenous antioxidant systems, transcriptional regulation, cytoskeleton maintenance, and regulation of apoptosis. Western blotting showed increased levels of cleaved PARP-1 and cleaved caspase-3 in SA-treated mice consistent with SA-induced apoptosis. Behavioral studies showed significant cognitive dysfunctions similar to those of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A comparative analysis of the SNO-proteome of SA-treated mice with two transgenic mouse strains, models of ASD and AD, showed molecular convergence of SA environmental neurotoxicity and the genetic mutations causing ASD and AD. This is the first study to show the effects of AS on SNO-signaling in the striatum and hippocampus and its effects on behavioral characteristics. Finally, further investigation of the NO-dependent mechanisms of AS-mediated neurotoxicity may reveal new drug targets for its prevention.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number127
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2022

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