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  • Author or Editor: G Csaba x
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Lipid-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) are actually hormones (exohormones), as they can be directly bound by hormone receptors or are in connection with molecules, which influence hormone receptors. Vitamin D is a transition between endo- and exohormones and the possibility of similar situation in case of other lipid-soluble hormones is discussed. The perinatal exposition with these “vitamins” can cause faulty perinatal hormonal imprinting with similar consequences as the faulty imprinting by the synthetic endohormones, members of the same hormone family or industrial, communal, or medical endocrine disruptors. The faulty imprinting leads to late (lifelong) consequences with altered hormone binding by receptors, altered sexuality, brain function, immunity, bone development, and fractures, etc. In addition, as hormonal imprinting is an epigenetic process, the effect of a single exposure by fat-soluble vitamins is inherited to the progeny generations. As vitamins are handled differently from hormones; however, perinatal treatments take place frequently and sometimes it is forced, the negative late effect of faulty perinatal vitamin-caused hormonal imprinting must be considered.

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Using confocal microscopic analysis, FITC-labelled anti-a-tubulin antibody and the fluorescent taxol derivative Flutax-1 in fixed and living Tetrahymena pyriformis GL, longitudinal microtubules, oral and somatic cilia, deep fibers, and contractile vacuole pores were equally labeled. While the antibody stained transversal microtubules, these were not labeled by Flutax-1. At the same time, oral cilia were more intensely stained by Flutax-1, than by the antibody. There were no differences in the staining of fixed preparations and living cells. The observations suggest (i) the difference between the MAPs of longitudinal and transversal microtubules which allow or inhibit the binding of the indicator molecules, and (ii) the different functions of these two types of microtubules.

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The aim of the experiments was to study the regulation of triiodothyronine (T3) production in the unicellular Tetrahymena. Untreated and troph-hormone treated specimen were prepared and in different timepoints T3 content was measured and compared by immunocytochemical flow cytometry. 0.1 or 0.001 IU TSH in tryptone-yeast medium stimulated T3 synthesis at 10, 20, 30 min, but does not stimulate after 1 h. The overlapping gonadotropic hormone (GTH) also did it, however only at 10 min. In Losina salt solution (physiological for Tetrahymena) the effect was weaker, however outer amino acid source was not absolutely needed for the production of the hormone. The results show that the TSH regulation of thyroid hormone synthesis (storage, secretion) and troph-hormone overlap can be deduced to a unicellular level. This may allow the hypothesis that the endocrine mechanisms proved at a low level of phylogeny are preserved for the higher ranked organisms.

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In earlier experiments single benzpyrene treatment of newborn rats caused strong alterations in the endorphin content of adult rats' immune cells. In the present experiments young (4-6 weeks old) male rats were studied for demonstrating the effect of the single neonatal or repeated (neonatally and at weanling) benzpyrene exposure on the serotonin content of immune cells (blood lymphocytes, monocytes, granulocytes; peritoneal fluid lymphocytes, mast cells, monocytes and granulocytes, thymic lymphocytes). Flow cytometric analysis showed that 50 µg benzpyrene treatment of five-week-old animals was ineffective after 5 days and this was the situation four weeks after single neonatal (20 µg) benzpyrene exposure. However, the repeated treatment of neonatally benzpyrene exposed 4 weeks old animals after 5 days resulted in elevated blood and thymic lymphocyte serotonin amount and in one index (peritoneal monocyte-granulocyte group) reduced serotonin content. This means that neonatal benzpyrene treatment does not influence directly the serotonin content (production or transport) of immune cells (unlike to the endorphin content) however, sensitizes them to a following benzpyrene exposure. The results widen the list of harmful effects (influencing steroid receptor binding, sexual behavior and immune cells' endorphin content) of perinatal benzpyrene exposure.

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Hormonal imprinting develops during the perinatal critical period, when the target hormone meets the yet unmatured receptor. As a consequence of imprinting the receptor accomplishes its maturation reaching the binding capacity characteristic to adults. In this period in the presence of foreign molecules similar to the target hormone faulty imprinting may occur with life-long consequences. Soy bean contains phytosteroids which can mimic estrogen effects. In the present experiments single genistein (20 mg) or combined genistein + benzpyrene (20 mg) treatments were done neonatally and the sexual behavior of male and female adult animals was studied. Genistein significantly increased the lordosis quotient of females, which was compensated by neonatal benzpyrene treatment. Genistein also enhanced the sexual activity of males, and this was significantly not reduced by parallel benzpyrene treatment. The results show that neonatal genistein exposure can imprint sexual activity for life and the presence of a second imprinter can modify genistein's behavioral effect.

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In the experiments the effect of late hormonal imprinting to the liver glucocorticoid receptors were studied. Three-week-old (weanling) female rats were treated with five molecules acting at receptor level and four weeks later receptor kinetic analysis was done on liver glucocorticoid receptors. The tricyclic antidepressant, histamine and serotonin receptor blocker mianserin positively influenced receptor density and negatively receptor affinity. Vitamin D3 and the environmental pollutant benzpyrene elevated receptor density. Mifepristone (RU 486) which is bound by progesterone- and glucorticoid-receptor without postreceptorial effects was ineffective as well, as the H1 receptor blocker chlorpheniramine. The results demonstrate that receptor-level-acting foreign molecules can durably influence the binding capacity of glucocorticoid receptors, however, this is not a general phenomenon and it is not dependent on the type of receptors (membrane or cytosol). Those molecules were effective which 1. have receptor in the same receptor family (vitamin D3) and have postreceptorial effect, or 2. have a structure similar to steroids (benzpyrene) or 3. deeply influenced steroid receptors in earlier experiments (mianserin). This effect should be considered before administering such type of medicaments.

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Newborn rats of both sexes were treated (imprinted) with 20mg of benzpyrene. Two hours, 2 days, 1, 2, 3 weeks, 1 month and 2 months after imprinting the liver glucocorticoid receptors were studied for binding of dexamethasone. Two-hour and 2-day values were not appreciable. One week after treatment the receptor's affinity was extremely low both in control and treated treated animals. Two weeks after imprinting a significant difference in density (lower) and affinity (higher) was observed between the male treated and control animals. At 3 weeks and one month the binding capacity of treated and control animals was equal however, at 2 months Bmaxof males increased and that of females decreased significantly in the neonatally benzpyrene treated animals. This means that for the development of perinatal imprinting effect a long time is needed, and the effect is manifested after a period of lability.

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Histone deacetylases can also influence acetylation of tubulin. In the present experiments, after 60 min of 10 μM trichostatin (TSA) treatment the structure and amount of tubulin and acetylated-tubulin were studied immunocytochemically, by using confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. In TSA-treated Tetrahymena cells deep fibres were never labeled with antibody to acetylated tubulin. Flow cytometry with anti acetylated-tubulin antibody demonstrated that in the control cell populations there were weaker and stronger labelled parts. After TSA treatment in the weaker labeled part the cell number decreased, and in the stronger labeled part increased significantly: this means that after the histone deacetylase inhibitor TSA treatment the amount of acetylated-tubulin in numerous Tetrahymena cells is significantly elevated. Labeling with anti-tubulin antibody was not changed significantly. On the basis of these results we postulate that histone deacetylase also in Tetrahymena influences the acetylation of tubulin, and this enzyme is sensitive to TSA treatments.

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Hormonal imprinting takes place perinatally, at the first encounter between the target hormone and its developing receptor. However, there is a secondary critical period of imprinting at puberty. In these periods molecules similar to the hormones (members of the same hormone family, antagonists, certain environmental pollutants, etc.) can cause faulty imprinting with lifelong consequences. In the present experiments 5+2 days of tamoxifen treatment (120mg/day) at adolescent age dramatically (from approx. 40% to 10%) reduced the sexual activity (Meyerson index and lordosis quotient) of female rats, soon after the finishment of the treatment and between four to six weeks after treatment. Similar results were observed in animals neonatally treated with allylestrenol and tamoxifen treated at puberty. Thymic glucocorticoid receptor and uterine estrogen receptor binding capacity were not influenced.

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White blood cells of rats (lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages, granulocytes and mast cells) contain b-endorphin. Two months after a single neonatal benzpyrene treatment (imprinting) there is an elevated level of immunoreactive endorphin in the blood and peritoneal cells of female animals and blood cells of males. The endorphin content decreased in the peritoneal cells of males. In the blood, the granulocytes of female, and the lymphocytes of male rats contained the highest amount of endorphin. In the peritoneal fluid also the granulocytes of females contained the highest amount of endorphin, in contrast to males, where the endorphin content of cells decreased and the lowest level of it was present in the lymphocytes.  The experiments justify that benzpyrene treatment can durably influence endorphin levels of white blood cells and gives new data to the already known lifelong health destroying effects of perinatal benzpyrene exposition (alterations of hormone receptor binding capacity and sexual behavior).

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