Increased glutathione biosynthesis by Nrf2 activation in astrocytes prevents p75NTR-dependent motor neuron apoptosis. J Neurochem

Departamento de Neurobiología Celular y Molecular, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Montevideo, Uruguay.
Journal of Neurochemistry (Impact Factor: 4.28). 06/2006; 97(3):687-96. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.03742.x
Source: PubMed


Astrocytes may modulate the survival of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have previously shown that fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF-1) activates astrocytes to increase secretion of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF in turn induces apoptosis in co-cultured motor neurons expressing the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) by a mechanism involving nitric oxide (NO) and peroxynitrite formation. We show here that FGF-1 increased the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and NO production in astrocytes, making adjacent motor neurons vulnerable to NGF-induced apoptosis. Spinal cord astrocytes isolated from transgenic SOD1G93A rats displayed increased NO production and spontaneously induced apoptosis of co-cultured motor neurons. FGF-1 also activates the redox-sensitive transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in astrocytes. Because Nrf2 increases glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis, we investigated the role of GSH production by astrocytes on p75NTR-dependent motor neuron apoptosis. The combined treatment of astrocytes with FGF-1 and t-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) increased GSH production and secretion, preventing motor neuron apoptosis. Moreover, Nrf2 activation in SOD1G93A astrocytes abolished their apoptotic activity. The protection exerted by increased Nrf2 activity was overcome by adding the NO donor DETA-NONOate to the co-cultures or by inhibiting GSH synthesis and release from astrocytes. These results suggest that activation of Nrf2 in astrocytes can reduce NO-dependent toxicity to motor neurons by increasing GSH biosynthesis.


Available from: Patricia Cassina, Feb 05, 2015
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    • "The primary site of mSOD1 toxicity is likely to be represented in several other cell types, such as glial cells (astrocytes, microglia, or Schwann cells) and muscle fibers [2]. Recent study shows that astrocytes expressing mSOD1 were able to trigger motor neuron death through a mechanism involving oxidative stress and NGF production [46]. Other studies showed similar results suggesting that the astrocyte could be a site of mSOD1 toxicity [47], [48]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurodegenerative disorder of motor neurons causing progressive muscle weakness, paralysis, and eventual death from respiratory failure. There is currently no cure or effective treatment for ALS. Besides motor neuron degeneration, ALS is associated with impaired energy metabolism, which is pathophysiologically linked to mitochondrial dysfunction and glutamate excitotoxicity. The Deanna Protocol (DP) is a metabolic therapy that has been reported to alleviate symptoms in patients with ALS. In this study we hypothesized that alternative fuels in the form of TCA cycle intermediates, specifically arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG), the main ingredient of the DP, and the ketogenic diet (KD), would increase motor function and survival in a mouse model of ALS (SOD1-G93A). ALS mice were fed standard rodent diet (SD), KD, or either diets containing a metabolic therapy of the primary ingredients of the DP consisting of AAKG, gamma-aminobutyric acid, Coenzyme Q10, and medium chain triglyceride high in caprylic triglyceride. Assessment of ALS-like pathology was performed using a pre-defined criteria for neurological score, accelerated rotarod test, paw grip endurance test, and grip strength test. Blood glucose, blood beta-hydroxybutyrate, and body weight were also monitored. SD+DP-fed mice exhibited improved neurological score from age 116 to 136 days compared to control mice. KD-fed mice exhibited better motor performance on all motor function tests at 15 and 16 weeks of age compared to controls. SD+DP and KD+DP therapies significantly extended survival time of SOD1-G93A mice by 7.5% (p = 0.001) and 4.2% (p = 0.006), respectively. Sixty-three percent of mice in the KD+DP and 72.7% of the SD+DP group lived past 125 days, while only 9% of the control animals survived past that point. Targeting energy metabolism with metabolic therapy produces a therapeutic effect in ALS mice which may prolong survival and quality of life in ALS patients.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e103526. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103526 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Primary astrocyte cultures were prepared from cortex and spinal cord of 1-day-old mice as previously described [9]. Pups were cold-anesthetized and then euthanized by decapitation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dominant mutations in the Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal disorder characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons. The molecular mechanism underlying the toxic gain-of-function of mutant hSOD1s remains uncertain. Several lines of evidence suggest that toxicity to motor neurons requires damage to non-neuronal cells. In line with this observation, primary astrocytes isolated from mutant hSOD1 over-expressing rodents induce motor neuron death in co-culture. Mitochondrial alterations have been documented in both neuronal and glial cells from ALS patients as well as in ALS-animal models. In addition, mitochondrial dysfunction and increased oxidative stress have been linked to the toxicity of mutant hSOD1 in astrocytes and neurons. In mutant SOD1-linked ALS, mitochondrial alterations may be partially due to the increased association of mutant SOD1 with the outer membrane and intermembrane space of the mitochondria, where it can affect several critical aspects of mitochondrial function. We have previously shown that decreasing glutathione levels, which is crucial for peroxide detoxification in the mitochondria, significantly accelerates motor neuron death in hSOD1G93A mice. Here we employed a catalase targeted to the mitochondria to investigate the effect of increased mitochondrial peroxide detoxification capacity in models of mutant hSOD1-mediated motor neuron death. The over-expression of mitochondria-targeted catalase improved mitochondrial antioxidant defenses and mitochondrial function in hSOD1G93A astrocyte cultures. It also reverted the toxicity of hSOD1G93A-expressing astrocytes towards co-cultured motor neurons, however ALS-animals did not develop the disease later or survive longer. Hence, while increased oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction have been extensively documented in ALS, these results suggest that preventing peroxide-mediated mitochondrial damage alone is not sufficient to delay the disease.
    PLoS ONE 07/2014; 9(7):e103438. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0103438 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "For example, Barbeito and collaborators (Vargas et al., 2006; Cassina et al., 2008) report that 40% of motoneurons are lost when they are co-cultured on astrocytes carrying mutated SOD1G93A and that these astrocytes were found to produce excessive levels of NO and mitochondrial O•−2. Moreover, cell death is abrogated when these astrocytes are pre-treated with either anti-oxidants capable of reducing O•−2 production, or with inhibitors of NO synthase (NOS) (Vargas et al., 2006; Cassina et al., 2008). Additional studies also indicate that astrocytes and microglia that express mutated SOD1 can generate NO and NADPH oxidase (Nox)-derived ROS (Harraz et al., 2008; Marchetto et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal paralytic disorder caused by dysfunction and degeneration of motor neurons. Multiple disease-causing mutations, including in the genes for SOD1 and TDP-43, have been identified in ALS. Astrocytes expressing mutant SOD1 are strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of ALS: we have shown that media conditioned by astrocytes carrying mutant SOD1(G93A) contains toxic factor(s) that kill motoneurons by activating voltage-sensitive sodium (Na v ) channels. In contrast, a recent study suggests that astrocytes expressing mutated TDP43 contribute to ALS pathology, but do so via cell-autonomous processes and lack non-cell-autonomous toxicity. Here we investigate whether astrocytes that express diverse ALS-causing mutations release toxic factor(s) that induce motoneuron death, and if so, whether they do so via a common pathogenic pathway. We exposed primary cultures of wild-type spinal cord cells to conditioned medium derived from astrocytes (ACM) that express SOD1 (ACM-SOD1(G93A) and ACM-SOD1(G86R)) or TDP43 (ACM-TDP43(A315T)) mutants; we show that such exposure rapidly (within 30-60 min) increases dichlorofluorescein (DCF) fluorescence (indicative of nitroxidative stress) and leads to extensive motoneuron-specific death within a few days. Co-application of the diverse ACMs with anti-oxidants Trolox or esculetin (but not with resveratrol) strongly improves motoneuron survival. We also find that co-incubation of the cultures in the ACMs with Na v channel blockers (including mexiletine, spermidine, or riluzole) prevents both intracellular nitroxidative stress and motoneuron death. Together, our data document that two completely unrelated ALS models lead to the death of motoneuron via non-cell-autonomous processes, and show that astrocytes expressing mutations in SOD1 and TDP43 trigger such cell death through a common pathogenic pathway that involves nitroxidative stress, induced at least in part by Na v channel activity.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 02/2014; 8:24. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00024 · 4.29 Impact Factor
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