Axonopathy-inducing 1,2-diacetylbenzene forms adducts with motor and cytoskeletal proteins required for axonal transport

Mohammad I. Sabri, Seyed B. Hashemi, Michael R. Lasarev, Peter S. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The aromatic hydrocarbon 1,2-diacetylbenzene (1,2-DAB) is a protein-reactive γ-diketone metabolite of the neurotoxic solvent 1,2-diethylbenzene (1,2-DEB). The effect of neurotoxic 1,2-DAB and its non-neurotoxic isomer 1,3-DAB has been studied on motor proteins and cytoskeletal proteins of rat spinal cord (SC). For in vitro studies, SC slices were incubated with 1, 2, 5, 10 mM of DAB isomers for 30 min at 37°C. For in vivo studies, rats received (i.p.) 20 mg/kg/day of 1,2-DAB or 1,3-DAB, or vehicle (2% acetone in saline), 5 days a week for 2 weeks. Spinal cord and sciatic nerve proteins were subjected to Western blotting using monoclonal mouse antibodies to NF-M, kinesin, dynein, and tau. Proteins were quantified and paired mean comparisons performed to assess concentration-dependent changes in native protein bands. In vitro, 1,2-DAB produced a concentration-dependent decrease of motor and cytoskeletal proteins. While dynein and tau appeared similarly affected by 1,2-DAB, kinesin was most affected by the toxicant. In vivo, 1,2-DAB affected motor and cytoskeletal proteins of sciatic nerves and spinal cord differentially. In general, sciatic nerve proteins were much more affected than spinal cord proteins. The results show that motor proteins that drive axonal transport anterogradely (kinesin) and retrogradely (dynein), cytoskeletal protein NF-M, which is slowly transported in the anterograde direction, and microtubule-associated protein, tau, which is involved in axonal transport, are differentially impacted by 1,2-DAB. By contrast, non-neurotoxic isomer 1,3-diacetylbenzene (1,3-DAB), had no adverse effect on neural proteins either in vitro or in vivo. 2D-Differential in gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) of sciatic nerves from neurotoxic 1,2-DAB and non-neurotoxic 1,3-DAB treated rats revealed 197 and 304 protein spots, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2152-2159
Number of pages8
JournalNeurochemical Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • 1,2-Diacetylbenzene
  • Aromatic solvents
  • Axonal degeneration
  • Cytoskeletal proteins
  • Motor proteins
  • Neuropathy
  • Neurotoxicity
  • γ-Diketone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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