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AFRL nanotoxicology image featured on journal cover

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The Toxicology Sciences journal featured on the front cover of its August edition an image from research conducted by the nanotoxicology research team at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Human Effectiveness Directorate.

Dr. Saber Hussain, who leads the nanotoxicology research team at AFRL's Human Effectiveness Directorate, Applied Biotechnology Branch, coauthored a technical paper entitled "The Interaction of Manganese Nanoparticles with PC-12 Cells Induces Dopamine Depletion," which also was published in the journal.

A cover image is selected by the journal editor based on aesthetics, diversity in cover illustrations and scientific interest, according to Virginia Hawkins of the Toxicology Sciences editorial office.

The article describes the team's study of manganese, a well-recognized neurotoxin that produces symptoms such as diminished motor skills and psychological disturbances, similar to Parkinson's disease. The study was designed to determine whether nanosized manganese oxide particles would induce dopamine depletion in a cultured neuronal cell. Dopamine is a chemical substance and neurotransmitter found in the brain that regulates movement, balance and walking.

Because manganese has many industrial applications, scientists anticipate that newly developed manganese nanoparticles will be used in a similar fashion, possibly even replacing bulk manganese in the near future. It remains unclear whether nanosized manganese materials can produce similar symptoms, Dr. Hussain said, but preliminary data indicate that it is possible.

Co-authors of the paper were AFRL scientists Amanda K. Javorina and John J. Schlager, Ph.D; Amanda M. Schrand, University of Dayton; and Helen M. Duhart and Syed F. Ali of the National Center for Toxicological Research.