Astrocytes protect neurons from ethanol-induced oxidative stress and apoptotic death.

Department of Pharmacology, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX, USA.
Journal of Neuroscience Research (Impact Factor: 2.73). 07/2005; 80(5):655-66. DOI: 10.1002/jnr.20502
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ethanol induces oxidative stress in cultured fetal rat cortical neurons and this is followed by apoptotic death, which can be prevented by normalization of cell content of reduced glutathione (GSH). Because astrocytes can play a central role in maintenance of neuron GSH homeostasis, the following experiments utilized cocultures of neonatal rat cortical astrocytes and fetal cortical neurons to determine if astrocytes could protect neurons from ethanol-mediated apoptotic death via this mechanism. In cortical neurons cultured in the absence of astrocytes, ethanol (2.5 and 4 mg/ml; 6-, 12-, and 24-hr exposures) decreased trypan blue exclusion and the MTT viability measures by up to 45% (P < 0.05), increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by up to 81% (P < 0.05), and decreased GSH within 1 hr of treatment by 49 and 51% for 2.5 and 4 mg/ml, respectively (P < 0.05). This was followed by onset of apoptotic cell death as determined by increased Annexin V binding and DNA fragmentation by 12 hr of ethanol exposure. Coculturing neurons with astrocytes prevented GSH depletion by 2.5 mg/ml ethanol, whereas GSH content was increased over controls in neurons exposed to 4 mg/ml ethanol (by up to 341%; P < 0.05). Ethanol generated increases in neuron ROS and apoptosis; decreases in viability were also prevented by coculture. Astrocytes were largely insensitive to ethanol, using the same measures. Only exposure to 4.0 mg/ml ethanol decreased GSH content in astrocytes, concomitant with a 204% increase in GSH efflux (P < 0.05). These studies illustrate that astrocytes can protect neurons from ethanol-mediated apoptotic death and that this may be related to maintenance of neuron GSH.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 06/2014; 6:117. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00117 · 2.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During the last 20 years, new and exciting roles for glial cells in brain development have been described. Moreover, several recent studies implicated glial cells in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders including Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Abnormalities in glial cell development and proliferation and increased glial cell apoptosis contribute to the adverse effects of ethanol on the developing brain and it is becoming apparent that the effects of fetal alcohol are due, at least in part, to effects on glial cells affecting their ability to modulate neuronal development and function. The three major classes of glial cells, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia as well as their precursors are affected by ethanol during brain development. Alterations in glial cell functions by ethanol dramatically affect neuronal development, survival, and function and ultimately impair the development of the proper brain architecture and connectivity. For instance, ethanol inhibits astrocyte-mediated neuritogenesis and oligodendrocyte development, survival and myelination; furthermore, ethanol induces microglia activation and oxidative stress leading to the exacerbation of ethanol-induced neuronal cell death. This review article describes the most significant recent findings pertaining the effects of ethanol on glial cells and their significance in the pathophysiology of FASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
    Frontiers in Pediatrics 11/2014; 2:123. DOI:10.3389/fped.2014.00123
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Binge drinking is common among adolescents, and this type of ethanol exposure may lead to long-term nervous system damage. In the current study, we evaluated motor performance and tissue alterations in the cerebral cortex of rats subjected to intermittent intoxication with ethanol from adolescence to adulthood. Adolescent male Wistar rats (35 days old) were treated with distilled water or ethanol (6.5 g/kg/day, 22.5% w/v) during 55 days by gavage to complete 90 days of age. The open field, inclined plane and the rotarod tests were used to assess the spontaneous locomotor activity and motor coordination performance in adult animals. Following completion of behavioral tests, half of animals were submitted to immunohistochemical evaluation of NeuN (marker of neuronal bodies), GFAP (a marker of astrocytes) and Iba1 (microglia marker) in the cerebral cortex while the other half of the animals were subjected to analysis of oxidative stress markers by biochemical assays. Chronic ethanol intoxication in rats from adolescence to adulthood induced significant motor deficits including impaired spontaneous locomotion, coordination and muscle strength. These behavioral impairments were accompanied by marked changes in all cellular populations evaluated as well as increased levels of nitrite and lipid peroxidation in the cerebral cortex. These findings indicate that continuous ethanol intoxication from adolescence to adulthood is able to provide neurobehavioral and neurodegenerative damage to cerebral cortex.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e101074. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101074 · 3.53 Impact Factor
    This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched format


Available from
Feb 17, 2015