Emulsifier for intravenous cyclosporin inhibits neurite outgrowth, causes deficits in rapid axonal transport and leads to structural abnormalities in differentiating N1E.115 neuroblastoma

D. J. Brat*, A. J. Windebank, S. Brimijoin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emulsifier for cyclosporin in clinical i.v. formulations, Cremophor EL, has recently come into question as a possible source of neurotoxic side effects in immunosuppressant therapy. To address this issue we tested Cremophor EL and cyclosporin on an in vitro neuronal model, the differentiating N1E.115 neuroblastoma cell. In terms of effects on elaboration of neurites by these cells, Cremophor accounted for nearly all the neurotoxicity of clinically formulated cyclosporin. At a concentration of 0.005% (v/v), Cremophor EL halved the number of cells that extended neurites after 48 hr in serum-free medium. Average neurite length was also reduced substantially. Inhibition of neurite outgrowth first became apparent 24 hr after exposure to Cremophor EL. Neurites that did grow in the presence of Cremophor were disfigured by a series of regularly spaced, gross dilatations (beads) filled with large (0.2-0.5 μm) lipid vesicles. Abnormalities of rapid axonal transport were documented in the beaded neurites by means of video-enhanced contrast, differential interference-contrast microscopy. Velocity of retrograde transport remained normal, but the velocity of anterograde transport and the total bidirectional flux of organelles were both reduced. It seems likely that the inhibition of neurite outgrowth, the swellings of the neurites and the abnormalities of transport are interrelated phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-810
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Volume261
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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