Mechanisms of Ischemic Neuroprotection by Acetyl-l-carnitine
ABSTRACT Acetyl-L-carnitine is a naturally occurring substance that, when administered at supraphysiologic concentrations, is neuroprotective in several animal models of global and focal cerebral ischemia. Three primary mechanisms of action are supported by neurochemical outcome measures performed with these models and with in vitro models of acute neuronal cell death. The metabolic hypothesis is based on the oxidative metabolism of the acetyl component of acetyl-L-carnitine and is a simple explanation for the reduction in postischemic brain lactate levels and elevation of ATP seen with drug administration. The antioxidant mechanism is supported by reduction of oxidative stress markers, for example, protein oxidation, in both brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid. The relatively uncharacterized mechanism of inhibiting excitotoxicity could be extremely important in both acute brain injury and chronic neurodegenerative disorders. New experiments performed with primary cultures of rat cortical neurons indicate that the presence of acetyl-L-carnitine significantly inhibits both acute and delayed cell death following exposure to NMDA, an excitotoxic glutamate antagonist. Finally, several other mechanisms of action are possible, including a neurotrophic effect of acetyl-L-carnitine and inhibition of mitochondrial permeability transition. While the multiple potential mechanisms of neuroprotection by acetyl-L-carnitine limit an accurate designation of the most important mode of action, they are compatible with the concept that several brain injury pathways must be inhibited to optimize therapeutic efficacy.
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ABSTRACT: Silver nano-particles (Ag-NPs) are becoming increasingly prevalent in consumer products as antibacterial agents. The increased use of Ag NP-enhanced products will almost certainly increase environmental silver levels, resulting in increased exposures and the potential for increased adverse reactions including neurotoxic effects. In the present study, embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs) from human and rat fetuses (gestational day-16) were used to determine whether Ag-NPs are capable of causing developmental neurotoxicity. The NSCs were cultured in serum free medium supplemented with appropriate growth factors. On the eighth day in vitro (DIV 8), the cells were exposed to Ag-NPs at concentrations of 1, 5, 10, and 20 µg/ml for 24 hours. The cultured cells then were characterized by NSC markers including nestin and SOX2 and a variety of assays were utilized to determine the effects of Ag-NPs on NSC proliferation and viability and the underlying mechanisms associated with these effects. The results indicate that mitochondrial viability (MTT metabolism) was substantially attenuated and LDH release was increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner. Ag-NPs-induced neurotoxicity was further confirmed by up-regulated Bax protein expression, an increased number of TUNEL-positively stained cells, and elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS). NSC proliferation was also significantly decreased by Ag-NPs. Co-administration of acetyl-L-carnitine, an antioxidant agent, effectively blocked the adverse effects associated with Ag-NP exposure.Frontiers in Neuroscience 04/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00115
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the effect of combined therapy of exercise and nootropic agent on cognitive function in a focal cerebral infarction rat model. Forty 10-week old male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to photothrombotic cerebral infarction of the left parietal lobe. All rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group A was photothrombotic cerebral infarction rats without any treatment (n=10); group B was photothrombotic cerebral infarction rats with swimming exercise (n=10); group C was photothrombotic cerebral infarction rats with oral administration of acetyl-L-carnitine (n=10); group D was photothrombotic cerebral infarction rats with swimming exercise and oral administration of acetyl-L-carnitine (n=10). Cognitive function was evaluated using the Morris water maze test on the 1st day, and the 1st, 2nd, and 4th week after the induction of cerebral infarction. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) in the hippocampus were measured. The neuronal cells of the hippocampus were histopathologically evaluated. The escape latency was shorter in groups B, C, and D than in group A. However, the differences were not statistically significant at the 1st, 2nd and 4th week. The activity of SOD was the highest in group D. The level of MDA was the lowest in group D. We observed more normal neuronal cells in groups B, C, and D. The combined therapy of exercise and nootropic agent was helpful in ameliorating oxidative stress in the focal cerebral infarction rat model. However, the effect did not translate into improvement of cognitive function.06/2012; 36(3):303-10. DOI:10.5535/arm.2012.36.3.303
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ABSTRACT: Following the initial acute stage of spinal cord injury, a cascade of cellular and inflammatory responses will lead to progressive secondary damage of the nerve tissue surrounding the primary injury site. The degeneration is manifested by loss of neurons and glial cells, demyelination and cyst formation. Injury to the mammalian spinal cord results in nearly complete failure of the severed axons to regenerate. We have previously demonstrated that the antioxidants N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) can attenuate retrograde neuronal degeneration after peripheral nerve and ventral root injury. The present study evaluates the effects of NAC and ALC on neuronal survival, axonal sprouting and glial cell reactions after spinal cord injury in adult rats. Tibial motoneurons in the spinal cord were pre-labeled with fluorescent tracer Fast Blue one week before lumbar L5 hemisection. Continuous intrathecal infusion of NAC (2.4 mg/day) or ALC (0.9 mg/day) was initiated immediately after spinal injury using Alzet 2002 osmotic minipumps. Neuroprotective effects of treatment were assessed by counting surviving motoneurons and by using quantitative immunohistochemistry and Western blotting for neuronal and glial cell markers 4 weeks after hemisection. Spinal cord injury induced significant loss of tibial motoneurons in L4-L6 segments. Neuronal degeneration was associated with decreased immunostaining for microtubular-associated protein-2 (MAP2) in dendritic branches, synaptophysin in presynaptic boutons and neurofilaments in nerve fibers. Immunostaining for the astroglial marker GFAP and microglial marker OX42 was increased. Treatment with NAC and ALC rescued approximately half of the motoneurons destined to die. In addition, antioxidants restored MAP2 and synaptophysin immunoreactivity. However, the perineuronal synaptophysin labeling was not recovered. Although both treatments promoted axonal sprouting, there was no effect on reactive astrocytes. In contrast, the microglial reaction was significantly attenuated. The results indicate a therapeutic potential for NAC and ALC in the early treatment of traumatic spinal cord injury.PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e41086. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0041086 · 3.53 Impact Factor