Tetanus toxin (TeTx) is a powerful clostridial neurotoxin that inhibits Ca2+-dependent neurotransmitter secretion as do the botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). We found that TeTx (but not BoNT/A) produced a specific time- and dose-dependent inhibition of Na+-dependent [3H]5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin, 5-HT) uptake in rat CNS synaptosomes. This effect was found in all CNS tryptaminergic areas, being maximal in the hippocampus and occipital cortex. TeTx produced the maximum reduction in [3H]5-HT uptake after 30 min of preincubation, being significant also at lower doses (10(-12) M) or shorter incubation times (10 min). Serotonin transport inhibitors such as fenfluramine (IC50, 11.0 +/- 0.9 microM), paroxetine (IC50, 33.5 +/- 0.1 microM), and imipramine (IC50, 89.9 +/- 5.7 microM) were 3 or 4 orders of magnitude less potent than TeTx (IC50, 8.7 +/- 1.0 nM). Of the two fragments of TeTx, (the C-terminal portion of the neurotoxin heavy chain, which is responsible for the binding to the nerve tissue) was consistently more effective than the L-H(N) fragment (the light neurotoxin chain disulfide linked to the N-terminal portion of the heavy chain, which is responsible for the toxic metalloprotease action) as inhibitor of [3H]5-HT uptake in synaptosomal preparations (56 +/- 5% and 95 +/- 3% with respect to control, respectively). Antagonism of the toxin-induced [3H]5-HT uptake blockade could not be reversed by zinc chelators but did have the ability to antagonize the TeTx inhibition of basal and K+-evoked [3H]5-HT release in rat synaptosomes. The reduction in serotonin accumulation induced by TeTx could be responsible for some tetanic symptoms that have been related to the serotonergic system.
Download Full PDF Version (Non-Commercial Use)