Chronic inhalation of 1-bromopropane (1-BP), a substitute of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, has been suspected of having central neurotoxicity (Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery 101 (1999) 199; Journal of Occupational Health 44 (2002) 1) for humans. In animal experiments, 1-BP inhalation (1500 ppm) caused hyperexcitability in the CA1 and the dentate gyrus (DG) [Journal of Occupational Health 42 (2000) 149, Journal of Occupational Health 44 (2002) 156]. We studied whether the hyperexcitability is associated with changes of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and protein kinase C (PKC). Male Wistar rats were exposed to 1-BP for 6 hours in a day in an exposure chamber with a concentration of 700 ppm for 8 weeks. After the inhalation, paired-pulse ratios of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials and population spikes (PSs) were analyzed in the CA1 and DG of hippocampal slices. Control rats were then given fresh air in the inhalation chamber. Semiquantitative immunoblotting analyses of protein kinases using antibodies against active and conventional protein kinases were done using the whole hippocampus. A paired-pulse ratio of PS was increased at the 5 ms interpulse interval in the CA1 and at the 10-20 ms interpulse intervals in the DG. The amount of active MAPK and total amount of CaMKIIα and β were significantly increased by 28, 29, and 46% compared to control, respectively, without any change in PKC activity. In contrast, the amount of active CaMKIIβ was decreased to 78%. These results suggest that modifications of intracellular signaling cascades are associated with hyperexcitability that occurred in the hippocampal formation of rats exposed to the chronic inhalation of 1-BP.
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