Voltage-dependent anion channels (VDAC) in the plasma membrane play a critical role in apoptosis in differentiated hippocampal neurons but not in neural stem cells

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Cell Biology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) (Impact Factor: 5.01). 11/2008; 7(20):3225-34. DOI: 10.4161/cc.7.20.6831
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT One of the earliest morphological changes occurring in apoptosis is cell shrinkage associated with an increased efflux of K(+) and Cl(-) ions. Block of K(+) or Cl(-) channels prevents cell shrinkage and death. Recently, we found evidences for the activation of a voltage-dependent anion channel in the plasma membrane (pl-VDAC) of a hippocampal cell line undergoing apoptosis. Nothing is known on pl-VDAC in apoptotic cell death of neural cells at different stages of differentiation. We have addressed this issue in primary cultures of differentiated hippocampal neurons and embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs). In control hippocampal neurons, pl-VDAC is closed but acts as an NADH-ferricyanide reductase, while in apoptotic neurons, pl-VDAC is opened and the enzymatic activity is increased. Anti-VDAC antibodies block pl-VDAC and prevent apoptosis, as well as the increase in enzymatic activity. Conversely, in NSCs, pl-VDAC is scarcely seen and there is no NADH-ferricyanide reductase activity. In agreement, anti-VDAC antibodies do not affect the apoptotic process. Instead, we find activation of a Na(+) channel that has low voltage dependency, a conductance of 26 pS, and is blocked by amiloride, which also prevents apoptosis. Thus, it appears that activation of pl-VDAC during apoptosis is a critical event in differentiated neurons, but not in NSCs.


Available from: Fredrik Elinder, Jun 06, 2015
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