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The Role of Desert-Dust Metals in the Pathobiology of Gulf War Illness

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2018,29 Sep 2019

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Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Bethesda United States

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After the First Persian Gulf War 1990-1991, many U.S. personnel reported suffering from a chronic multi-symptom disease eventually called Gulf War Illness. We hypothesize that exposures to pyridostigmine bromide, permethrin, andor DEET adversely affect the permeability of the blood-brain barrier allowing metals solubilized from inhaled desert dust particles to enter the brain. As a consequence, normal metal homeostasis is disrupted resulting in extensive oxidative damage and neurological dysfunction. In Year 3, based upon trans-endothelial electrical resistance TEER readings, we have successfully established an in vitro blood-brain barrier model. In some but not all cases, treatment with a variety of Gulf War-associated chemicals affected TEER values. In addition, with some treatments, changes in expression of gap junction proteins, ZO-1 and occludin were also observed.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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