Astrocyte control of fetal cortical neuron glutathione homeostasis: up-regulation by ethanol. J Neurochem

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Journal of Neurochemistry (Impact Factor: 4.28). 03/2006; 96(5):1289-300. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.03674.x
Source: PubMed


Ethanol increases apoptotic neuron death in the developing brain and at least part of this may be mediated by oxidative stress. In cultured fetal rat cortical neurons, Ethanol increases levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within minutes of exposure and reduces total cellular glutathione (GSH) shortly thereafter. This is followed by onset of apoptotic cell death. These responses to Ethanol can be blocked by elevating neuron GSH with N-acetylcysteine or by co-culturing neurons with neonatal cortical astrocytes. We describe here mechanisms by which the astrocyte-neuron gamma-glutamyl cycle is up-regulated by Ethanol, enhancing control of neuron GSH in response to the pro-oxidant, Ethanol. Up to 6 days of Ethanol exposure had no consistent effects on activities of gamma-glutamyl cysteine ligase or glutathione synthetase, and GSH content remained unchanged (p < 0.05). However, glutathione reductase was increased with 1 and 2 day Ethanol exposures, 25% and 39% for 2.5 and 4.0 mg/mL Ethanol by 1 day, and 11% and 16% for 2.5 and 4.0 mg/mL at 2 days, respectively (p < 0.05). A 24 h exposure to 4.0 mg/mL Ethanol increased GSH efflux from astrocyte up to 517% (p < 0.05). Ethanol increased both gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase expression and activity on astrocyte within 24 h of exposure (40%, p = 0.05 with 4.0 mg/mL) and this continued for at least 4 days of Ethanol treatment. Aminopeptidase N activity on neurons increased by 62% and 55% within 1 h of Ethanol for 2.5 and 4.0 mg/mL concentration, respectively (p < 0.05), remaining elevated for 24 h of treatment. Thus, there are at least three key points of the gamma-glutamyl cycle that are up-regulated by Ethanol, the net effect being to enhance neuron GSH homeostasis, thereby protecting neurons from Ethanol-mediated oxidative stress and apoptotic death.

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Available from: Lora Talley Watts, Nov 19, 2014
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    • "Higher levels of lipid peroxidation in different brain regions and also in the liver were measured after both acute and chronic ethanol administrations in rats (Calabrese et al. 1996; Calabrese et al. 1998). The short-term ethanol treatment of cultured fetal rat cortical neurons resulted in increased ROS formation and a decreased level of glutathione followed by apoptosis (Rathinam et al. 2006). Chronic ethanol feeding decreased the activity levels of SOD-1 and SOD-2 in the brain (Calabrese et al. 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Ethanol, which affects all body organs, exerts a number of cytotoxic effects, most of them independent of cell type. Ethanol treatment leads to increased membrane fluidity and to changes in membrane protein composition. It can also interact directly with membrane proteins, causing conformational changes and thereby influencing their function. The cytotoxic action may include an increased level of oxidative stress. Heat shock protein molecular chaperones are ubiquitously expressed evolutionarily conserved proteins which serve as critical regulators of cellular homeostasis. Heat shock proteins can be induced by various forms of stresses such as elevated temperature, alcohol treatment, or ischemia, and they are also upregulated in certain pathological conditions. As heat shock and ethanol stress provoke similar responses, it is likely that heat shock protein activation also has a role in the protection of membranes and other cellular components during alcohol stress.
    Cell Stress and Chaperones 10/2013; 19(3). DOI:10.1007/s12192-013-0472-5 · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    • ". The in vitro experiments involving ETOH in the current study uses a clinically relevant dose, which is at or below to that used in other studies to elicit a range of neurotoxic responses including brain apoptotic responses in various neuron culture, mouse and rat models [4] [23] [29] [30] "
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    ABSTRACT: Glutathione (GSH), a major cellular antioxidant protects cells against oxidative stress injury. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2/Nrf2) is a redox sensitive master regulator of battery of antioxidant enzymes including those involved in GSH antioxidant machinery. Earlier we reported that ethanol (ETOH) elicits apoptotic death of primary cortical neurons (PCNs) which in partly due to depletion of intracellular GSH levels. Further a recent report from our laboratory illustrated that ETOH exacerbated the dysregulation of GSH and caspase mediated cell death of cortical neurons that are compromised in Nrf2 machinery (Narasimhan et al., 2011). In various experimental models of neurodegeneration, neuronal antioxidant defenses mainly GSH has been shown to be supported by astrocytes. We therefore sought to determine whether astrocytes can render protection to neurons against ETOH toxicity, particularly when the function of Nrf2 is compromised in neurons. The experimental model consisted of co-culturing primary cortical astrocytes (PCA) with Nrf2 downregulated PCNs that were exposed with 4 mg/mL ETOH for 24 h. Monochlorobimane (MCB) staining followed by FACS analysis showed that astrocytes blocked ETOH induced GSH decrement in Nrf2-silenced neurons as opposed to exaggerated GSH depletion in Nrf2 downregulated PCNs alone. Similarly, the heightened activation of caspase 3/7 observed in Nrf2-compromised neurons was attenuated when co-cultured with astrocytes as measured by luminescence based caspase Glo assay. Furthermore, annexin-V-FITC staining followed by FACS analysis revealed that Nrf2 depleted neurons showed resistance to ETOH induced neuronal apoptosis when co-cultured with astrocytes. Thus, the current study identifies ETOH induced dysregulation of GSH and associated apoptotic events observed in Nrf2-depleted neurons can be blocked by astrocytes. Further our results suggest that this neuroprotective effect of astrocyte despite dysfunctional Nrf2 system in neurons could be compensated by astrocytic GSH supply.
    Open Journal of Apoptosis 07/2012; 1(2). DOI:10.4236/ojapo.2012.12002
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    • "The maternal use of alcohol during pregnancy continues to be a significant problem in our society despite extensive public education noting alcohol's dangers for the developing fetus (Albertsen et al., 2004; Ebrahim and Gfroerer, 2003; Lester et al., 2001). In utero alcohol exposure causes increased oxidant stress in the exposed offspring in multiple organs in a variety of animal models (Devi et al., 1993; Gauthier et al., 2005; Henderson et al., 1999; Rathinam et al., 2006). However, for the alcohol-consuming pregnant female, controversy remains whether alcohol-induced maternal systemic oxidative stress contributes to the adverse outcomes of the alcohol-exposed newborn (Cohen-Kerem and Koren, 2003; Signore et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Increased systemic oxidant stress contributes to a variety of maternal complications of pregnancy. Although the antioxidant glutathione (GSH) and its oxidized component glutathione disulfide (GSSG) have been demonstrated to be significantly altered in the adult alcoholic, the effects of maternal alcohol use during pregnancy on oxidant stress in the postpartum female remain under investigation. We hypothesized that maternal alcohol use would increase systemic oxidant stress in the pregnant female, evidenced by an oxidized systemic GSH redox potential. As a subset analysis of a larger maternal language study, we evaluated the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on the systemic GSH redox status of the postpartum female. Using an extensive maternal questionnaire, postpartum women where queried regarding their alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Any drinking, the occurrence of drinking >3 drinks/occasion, and heavy drinking of >5 drinks/occasion during pregnancy were noted. Using HPLC, maternal plasma samples were analyzed for GSH, oxidized GSSG and the redox potential of the GSH/GSSG antioxidant pair calculated. Maternal alcohol use occurred in 25% (83/321) of our study sample. Two in ten women reported consuming >3 drinks/occasion during pregnancy, while 1 in 10 women reported consuming alcohol at >5 drinks/occasion. Any alcohol use during pregnancy significantly decreased plasma GSH (p < 0.05), while alcohol at >3 drinks/occasion or >5 drinks/occasion significantly decreased plasma GSH concentration (p < 0.05), increased the percent of oxidized GSSG (p < 0.05), and substantially oxidized the plasma GSH redox potential (p < 0.05). Alcohol use during pregnancy, particularly at levels >3 drinks/occasion, caused significant oxidation of the systemic GSH system in the postpartum women. The clinical ramifications of the observed alcohol-induced oxidation of the GSH redox system on high risk pregnancies or on the exposed offspring require more accurate identification and further investigation.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 10/2009; 34(1):123-30. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.01072.x · 3.21 Impact Factor
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