Enhanced expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is known to be associated with toxicant-induced gliosis, a homotypic response of the central nervous system to neural injury. A variety of neurochemical and neurophysiological effects have been observed in experimental animals exposed to white spirit, but a linkage of such effects to neural damage has not been established. Here we evaluated the regional levels of GFAP to assess potential sites of CNS damage in the rat, following exposure to dearomatized and aromatic white spirit. Samples from rats exposed to dearomatized white spirit were assayed for GFAP levels in the United States and Denmark. The results were remarkably similar between countries, Small region-dependent increases and decreases in GFAP were observed with the cerebellum showing the most consistent effects (increases). in contrast, samples from rats exposed to aromatic white spirit showed large (as much as 150% of control) increases in regional levers of GFAP; again, the cerebellum showed the most consistent effects. The data are indicative of an aromatic white-spirit-induced astrogliosis in several regions of the rat CNS and suggest that chronic exposure to this solvent may be associated with underlying neural damage.
Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2000, Vol 22, Issue 5, p. 725-731