Roles of Glucose in Photoreceptor Survival

Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.57). 08/2011; 286(40):34700-11. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.279752
Source: PubMed


Vertebrate photoreceptor neurons have a high demand for metabolic energy, and their viability is very sensitive to genetic and environmental perturbations. We investigated the relationship between energy metabolism and cell death by evaluating the metabolic effects of glucose deprivation on mouse photoreceptors. Oxygen consumption, lactate production, ATP, NADH/NAD(+), TCA cycle intermediates, morphological changes, autophagy, and viability were evaluated. We compared retinas incubated with glucose to retinas deprived of glucose or retinas treated with a mixture of mitochondrion-specific fuels. Rapid and slow phases of cell death were identified. The rapid phase is linked to reduced mitochondrial activity, and the slower phase reflects a need for substrates for cell maintenance and repair.

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