Excitotoxic and excitoprotective mechanisms
ABSTRACT Activation of glutamate receptors can trigger the death of neurons and some types of glial cells, particularly when the cells are coincidentally subjected to adverse conditions such as reduced levels of oxygen or glucose, increased levels of oxidative stress, exposure to toxins or other pathogenic agents, or a disease-causing genetic mutation. Such excitotoxic cell death involves excessive calcium influx and release from internal organelles, oxyradical production, and engagement of programmed cell death (apoptosis) cascades. Apoptotic proteins such as p53, Bax, and Par-4 induce mitochondrial membrane permeability changes resulting in the release of cytochrome c and the activation of proteases, such as caspase-3. Events occurring at several subcellular sites, including the plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria and nucleus play important roles in excitotoxicity. Excitotoxic cascades are initiated in postsynaptic dendrites and may either cause local degeneration or plasticity of those synapses, or may propagate the signals to the cell body resulting in cell death. Cells possess an array of antiexcitotoxic mechanisms including neurotrophic signaling pathways, intrinsic stress-response pathways, and survival proteins such as protein chaperones, calcium-binding proteins, and inhibitor of apoptosis proteins. Considerable evidence supports roles for excitotoxicity in acute disorders such as epileptic seizures, stroke and traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, as well as in chronic age-related disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A better understanding of the excitotoxic process is not only leading to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative disorders, but also to unexpected insight into mechanisms of synaptic plasticity.
SourceAvailable from: Francesco Roselli[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) involve years of gradual preclinical progression. It is widely anticipated that in order to be effective, treatments should target early stages of disease, but we lack conceptual frameworks to identify and treat early manifestations relevant to disease progression. Here we discuss evidence that a focus on physiological features of neuronal subpopulations most vulnerable to NDDs, and how those features are affected in disease, points to signaling pathways controlling excitation in selectively vulnerable neurons, and to mechanisms regulating calcium and energy homeostasis. These hypotheses could be tested in neuronal stress tests involving animal models or patient-derived iPS cells. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Neuron 03/2015; 85(5):901-910. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.12.063 · 15.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. The majority of cases do not arise from purely genetic factors, implicating an important role of environmental factors in disease pathogenesis. Well-established environmental toxins important in PD include pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals. However, many toxicants linked to PD and used in animal models are rarely encountered. In this context, other factors such as dietary components may represent daily exposures and have gained attention as disease modifiers. Several in vitro, in vivo, and human epidemiological studies have found a variety of dietary factors that modify PD risk. Here, we critically review findings on association between dietary factors, including vitamins, flavonoids, calorie intake, caffeine, alcohol, and metals consumed via food and fatty acids and PD. We have also discussed key data on heterocyclic amines that are produced in high-temperature cooked meat, which is a new emerging field in the assessment of dietary factors in neurological diseases. While more research is clearly needed, significant evidence exists that specific dietary factors can modify PD risk.BioMed Research International 01/2015; 2015. DOI:10.1155/2015/672838 · 2.71 Impact Factor