Aluminum, a trivalent cation unable to undergo redox reactions, has been linked to many diseases such as dialysis dementia and microcytic anemia without iron deficiency. It has also been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease although this is controversial.
Because cell death due to oxidative injury is suspected to be a contributory factor in many neurological diseases and aluminum neurotoxicity, glioma (C-6) and neuroblastoma (NBP2) cells were utilized to assess early changes in oxidative parameters consequent to a 48-h exposure to aluminum sulfate. A 500-microM concentration of this salt produced a significant increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and a significant decrease in glutathione (GSH) content in glioma cells.
However, the same concentration of the aluminum salt did not lead to any significant changes in the neuroblastoma cells. Mitochondrial respiratory activity in glioma cells was also found to be significantly higher in the aluminum treated cells. As judged by morin-metal complex formation, aluminum can enter glioma cells much more readily than neuroblastoma cells.
Thus, it is possible that the cerebral target following an acute exposure to aluminum may be glial rather than neuronal.
Source: Free Radic Biol Med 1999 May;26(9-10):1166-71
PMID: 10381187, UI: 99308917
(Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Department of Community and Environmental Medicine, University of California-Irvine, 92697-1825, USA. email@example.com)