S S Smaili

Universidade Federal de São Paulo, San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Publications (33)94.97 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Although the accumulation of the neurotoxic peptide β-amyloid (Aβ) in the central nervous system is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, whether Aβ acts in astrocytes is unclear, and downstream functional consequences have yet to be defined. Here, we show that cytosolic Ca2+ dysregulation, induced by a neurotoxic fragment (Aβ25–35), caused apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner, leading to cytoplasmic Ca2+ mobilization from extra- and intracellular sources, mainly from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) via IP3 receptor activation. This mechanism was related to Aβ-mediated apoptosis by the intrinsic pathway because the expression of pro-apoptotic Bax was accompanied by its translocation in cells transfected with GFP-Bax. Aβ-mediated apoptosis was reduced by BAPTA-AM, a fast Ca2+ chelator, indicating that an increase in intracellular Ca2+ was involved in cell death. Interestingly, the Bax translocation was dependent on Ca2+ mobilization from IP3 receptors because pre-incubation with xestospongin C, a selective IP3 receptor inhibitor, abolished this response. Taken together, these results provide evidence that Aβ dysregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis induces ER depletion of Ca2+ stores and leads to apoptosis; this mechanism plays a significant role in Aβ apoptotic cell death and might be a new target for neurodegeneration treatments.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 05/2014; · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cited By (since 1996):4, Export Date: 18 October 2014
    Antioxidants and Redox Signaling. 01/2014; 21(1):123-137.
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is a mechanism of protection against various forms of human diseases, such as cancer, in which autophagy seems to have an extremely complex role. In cancer, there is evidence that autophagy may be oncogenic in some contexts, whereas in others it clearly contributes to tumor suppression. In addition, studies have demonstrated the existence of a complex relationship between autophagy and cell death, determining whether a cell will live or die in response to anticancer therapies. Nevertheless, we still need to complete the autophagy-apoptosis puzzle in the tumor context to better address appropriate chemotherapy protocols with autophagy modulators. Generally, tumor cell resistance to anticancer induced-apoptosis can be overcome by autophagy inhibition. However, when an extensive autophagic stimulus is activated, autophagic cell death is observed. In this review, we discuss some details of autophagy and its relationship with tumor progression or suppression, as well as role of autophagy-apoptosis in cancer treatments.
    Chemico-biological interactions 10/2013; · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that regulate programmed cell death, such as apoptosis, and the cellular self-eating phenomenon of autophagy, share many regulatory systems and common pathways. These mechanisms have been extensively investigated over the last few years. Some intracellular structures may determine and control the autophagic fate of the cell such as the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and lysosomes. The coordination and interrelation of these organelles are crucial in maintaining calcium levels and general cellular homeostasis, as well as in regulating cell life and death under physiological and pathological conditions, including cancer, neurodegeneration, and aging. In this review, we discuss the crosstalk between the aforementioned organelles and their influence in apoptotic and autophagic processes.
    Current Molecular Medicine 12/2012; · 4.20 Impact Factor
  • Curr Pharm Des. 12/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamate is an important neurotransmitter in neurons and glial cells and it is one of the keys to the neuron-glial interaction in the brain. Glutamate transmission is strongly dependent on calcium homeostasis and on mitochondrial function. In the present work we presented several aspects related to the role of mitochondria in glutamate signaling and in brain diseases. We focused on glutamateinduced calcium signaling and its relation to the organelle dysfunction with cell death processes. In addition, we have discussed how alterations in this pathway may lead or aggravate a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. We compiled information on how mitochondria can influence cell fate during glutamate stimulation and calcium signaling. These organelles play a pivotal role in neuron and glial exchange, in synaptic plasticity and several pathological conditions related to Aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. We have also presented autophagy as a mechanism activated during mitochondrial dysfunction which may function as a protective mechanism during injury. Furthermore, some new perspectives and approaches to treat these neurodegenerative diseases are offered and evaluated.
    Current pharmaceutical design 09/2011; 17(35):3865-77. · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is a highly complex form of cell death that can be triggered by alterations in Ca(2+) homeostasis. Members of the Bcl-2 family may regulate apoptosis and modulate Ca(2+) distribution within intracellular compartments. Bax, a proapoptotic member of the family, is constitutively expressed and soluble in the cytosol and, under apoptotic induction, translocates to mitochondrial membranes. However, it is not clear if the intracellular Ca(2+) stores and selective Ca(2+) releases can modulate or control Bax translocation. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation of intracellular Ca(2+) stores with Bax translocation in rat cortical astrocytes. Results show that the classical apoptotic inducer, staurosporine, caused high elevations of cytosolic Ca(2+) that precede Bax translocation. On the other hand, agents that mobilize Ca(2+) from endoplasmic reticulum such as noradrenaline or thapsigargin, induced Bax translocation, while mitochondrial Ca(2+) release evoked by carbonyl cyanide-p-(trifluoromethoxyphenyl) hydrazone was not able to cause Bax punctation. In addition, microinjection of inositol 1,4,5- trisphosphate induced Bax translocation. Taken together, our results show that in Bax overexpressing cortical astrocytes, endoplasmic reticulum-Ca(2+) release may induce Bax transactivation and specifically control apoptosis.
    Neurochemical Research 02/2011; 36(5):829-38. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expansion of CAGs repeats and characterized by alterations in mitochondrial functions. Although changes in Ca(2+) handling have been suggested, the mechanisms involved are not completely understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible alterations in Ca(2+) handling capacity and the relationship with mitochondrial dysfunction evaluated by NAD(P)H fluorescence, reactive oxygen species levels, mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)) measurements and respiration in whole brain slices from R6/1 mice of different ages, evaluated in situ by real-time real-space microscopy. We show that the cortex and striatum of the 9-month-old R6/1 transgenic mice present a significant sustained increase in cytosolic Ca(2+) induced by glutamate (Glu). This difference in Glu response was partially reduced in R6/1 when in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+), indicating that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors participation in this response is more important in transgenic mice. In addition, Glu also lead to a decrease in NAD(P)H fluorescence, a loss in DeltaPsi(m) and a further increase in respiration, which may have evoked a decrease in mitochondrial Ca(2+) Ca(2+)(m) uptake capacity. Taken together, these results show that alterations in Ca(2+) homeostasis in transgenic mice are associated with a decrease in Ca(2+)(m) uptake mechanism with a diminished Ca(2+) handling ability that ultimately causes dysfunctions and worsening of the neurodegenerative and the disease processes.
    European Journal of Neuroscience 07/2010; 32(1):60-70. · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transient increase in cytosolic (Cac2+) and mitochondrial Ca2+ (Ca m2+) are essential elements in the control of many physiological processes. However, sustained increases in Ca c2+ and Ca m2+ may contribute to oxidative stress and cell death. Several events are related to the increase in Ca m2+, including regulation and activation of a number of Ca2+ dependent enzymes, such as phospholipases, proteases and nucleases. Mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) play pivotal roles in the maintenance of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis and regulation of cell death. Several lines of evidence have shown that, in the presence of some apoptotic stimuli, the activation of mitochondrial processes may lead to the release of cytochrome c followed by the activation of caspases, nuclear fragmentation and apoptotic cell death. The aim of this review was to show how changes in calcium signaling can be related to the apoptotic cell death induction. Calcium homeostasis was also shown to be an important mechanism involved in neurodegenerative and aging processes.
    Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 10/2009; 81(3):467-75. · 0.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adding spironolactone to standard therapy in heart failure reduces morbidity and mortality, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. We analysed the effect of canrenone, the major active metabolite of spironolactone, on myocardial contractility and intracellular calcium homeostasis. Left ventricular papillary muscles and cardiomyocytes were isolated from male Wistar rats. Contractility of papillary muscles was assessed with force transducers, Ca(2+) transients by fluorescence and Ca(2+) fluxes by electrophysiological techniques. Canrenone (300-600 micromol L(-1)) reduced developed tension, maximum rate of tension increase and maximum rate of tension decay of papillary muscles. In cardiomyocytes, canrenone (50 micromol L(-1)) reduced cell shortening and L-type Ca(2+) channel current, whereas steady-state activation and inactivation, and reactivation curves were unchanged. Canrenone also decreased the Ca(2+) content of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, intracellular Ca(2+) transient amplitude and intracellular diastolic Ca(2+) concentration. However, the time course of [Ca(2+)](i) decline during transients evoked by caffeine was not affected by canrenone. Canrenone reduced L-type Ca(2+) channel current, amplitude of intracellular Ca(2+) transients and Ca(2+) content of sarcoplasmic reticulum in cardiomyocytes. These changes are likely to underlie the negative inotropic effect of canrenone.
    British Journal of Pharmacology 09/2009; 158(2):580-7. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aging is a multifaceted process associated with various functional and structural deficits that might be evolved in degenerative diseases. It has been shown that neurodegenerative disorders are associated with alterations in Ca(2+) homeostasis. Thus, in the present work, we have investigated Ca(2+) signaling and apoptosis in aged striatum. Our results show that glutamate and NMDA evoke a greater Ca(2+) rise in striatum slices from aged animals. However, this difference is not present when glutamate is tested in the absence of external Ca(2+). Immunostaining of glutamate receptors shows that only NMDA receptors (NR1) are increased in the striatum of aged rats. Increases in mitochondrial Ca(2+) content and in the reactive oxygen species levels were also observed in aged animals, which could be associated with tissue vulnerability. In addition, a decrease in the Bcl-2 protein expression and an enhancement in apoptosis were also present in aged striatum. Together the results indicate that, in aged animals, alterations in Ca(2+) handling coupled to an increase in ROS accumulation and a decrease in the prosurvival protein Bcl-2 may contribute to apoptosis induction and cell death in rat striatum.
    Journal of Neuroscience Research 09/2009; 88(2):438-47. · 2.97 Impact Factor
  • Sleep Medicine - SLEEP MED. 01/2009; 10.
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    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder, with an age-related onset and a progressive development, characterized by choreiform movements. 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP) induces the inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), an increase in oxidative stress and anatomic changes that are related to the pathophysiology of HD. Hence, this toxin is a useful tool to study this pathology. This study compares the effects of 3NP on the development of orofacial dyskinesia (OD) and on SDH activity in young and old mice. Treatment with 3NP (5, 10, 15 or 20 mg/kg once a day, for four days) induced OD in young mice. Old mice presented an increase in the basal level of orofacial movement that was not potentiated by any dose of 3NP. Histochemical analyses showed that old mice presented an increase in the SDH activity. Finally, 3NP induced a decrease in SDH activity at both ages. We suggest that the 3NP-induced OD in young mice is related to the inhibition of SDH activity. In parallel, an enhancement in the basal activity of SDH could be related to the absence of a further increase in the OD presented by old mice treated with 3NP.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 09/2008; 91(3):327-32. · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis is a natural cell elimination process involved in a number of physiological and pathological events. This process can be regulated by members of the Bcl-2 family. Bax, a pro-apoptotic member of this family, accelerates cell death, while the pro-survival member, Bcl-x(L), can antagonize the pro-apoptotic function of Bax to promote cell survival. In the present study, we have evaluated the effect of Bcl-x(L) on Bax-induced alterations in mitochondrial respiration and calcium release. We found that in primary cultured astrocytes, recombinant Bcl-x(L) is able to antagonize Bax-induced decrease in mitochondrial respiration and increase in mitochondrial calcium release. In addition, we found that Bcl-x(L) can lower the calcium store in the endoplasmic reticulum, thus limiting potential calcium flux induced by apoptosis. This regulation of calcium flux by Bcl-x(L) may represent an important mechanism by which this protein promotes cell survival.
    Neuroscience Letters 08/2008; 442(2):96-9. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary dominant neurodegenerative disorder and the progression of the disease may be associated with apoptosis and altered expression of apoptotic proteins. The aim of this study was to investigate gene expression of bax and bcl-2 in tissues from R6/1 transgenic (TGN) mice of different ages (3, 6 and 9 months). The mRNA expression was investigated and related to apoptotic cells measured by TUNEL. Results showed a significant and progressive increase in bax levels in the cortex of TGN (from 10 to 33%) when compared to control (CT) (8 to 20%) mice with 3, 6 and 9-month-old. The increase in bax was correlated with the elevation in the number of apoptotic nuclei, especially in the cortex of 6 (10%) and 9 (18%)-month-old mice. Increase in bax expression might be related to an apoptotic induction which contributes to the HD progression.
    Neuroscience Letters 07/2008; 438(1):59-63. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we evaluated proapoptotic protein Bax on mitochondria and Ca2+ homeostasis in primary cultured astrocytes. We found that recombinant Bax (rBax, 10 and 100 ng/ml) induces a loss in mitochondrial membrane potential (Delta Psi m). This effect might be related to the inhibition of respiratory rates and a partial release of cytochrome c, which may change mitochondrial morphology. The loss of Delta Psi m and a selective permeabilization of mitochondrial membranes contribute to the release of Ca2+ from the mitochondria. This was inhibited by cyclosporin A (5 microM) and Ruthenium Red (1 microg/ml), indicating the involvement of mitochondrial Ca2+ transport mechanisms. Bax-induced mitochondrial Ca2+ release evokes Ca2+ waves and wave propagation between cells. Our results show that Bax induces mitochondrial alteration that affects Ca2+ homeostasis and signaling. These changes show that Ca2+ signals might be correlated with the proapoptotic activities of Bax.
    Cell Death and Differentiation 01/2005; 11(12):1265-76. · 8.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intracellular calcium homeostasis is important for cell survival. However, increase in mitochondrial calcium (Ca2+m) induces opening of permeability transition pore (PTP), mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis. Since alterations of intracellular Ca2+ and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation are involved in cell death, they might be involved in neurodegenerative processes such as Huntington's disease (HD). HD is characterized by the inhibition of complex II of respiratory chain and increase in ROS production. In this report, we studied the correlation between the inhibitor of the complex II, 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP), Ca2+ metabolism, apoptosis and behavioural alterations. We showed that 3NP (1 mm) is able to release Ca2+m, as neither Thapsigargin (TAP, 2 microm) nor free-calcium medium affected its effect. PTP inhibitors and antioxidants inhibited this process, suggesting an increase in ROS generation and PTP opening. In addition, 3NP (0.1 mm) also induces apoptotic cell death. Behavioural changes in animals treated with 3NP (20 mg/kg/day for 4 days) were also attenuated by pre- and co-treatment with vitamin E (VE, 20 mg/kg/day). Taken together, our results show that complex II inhibition could involve Ca2+m release, oxidative stress and cell death that may precede motor alterations in neurodegenerative processes such as HD.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 04/2004; 88(5):1220-8. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular Ca2+ signals are crucial in the control of most physiological processes, cell injury and programmed cell death through the regulation of a number of Ca2+-dependent enzymes such as phospholipases, proteases, and nucleases. Mitochondria along with the endoplasmic reticulum play pivotal roles in regulating intracellular Ca2+ content. Mitochondria are endowed with multiple Ca2+ transport mechanisms by which they take up and release Ca2+ across their inner membrane. During cellular Ca2+ overload, mitochondria take up cytosolic Ca2+, which in turn induces opening of permeability transition pores and disrupts the mitochondrial membrane potential (deltapsim). The collapse of deltapsim along with the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria is followed by the activation of caspases, nuclear fragmentation and cell death. Members of the Bcl-2 family are a group of proteins that play important roles in apoptosis regulation. Members of this family appear to differentially regulate intracellular Ca2+ level. Translocation of Bax, an apoptotic signaling protein, from the cytosol to the mitochondrial membrane is another step in this apoptosis signaling pathway.
    Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 03/2003; 36(2):183-90. · 1.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondria in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPs) take up and release cytosolic Ca2+ during agonist-evoked Ca2+ waves, but it is not clear whether or how they regulate Ca2+ signaling in OPs. We asked whether mitochondria play an active role during agonist-evoked Ca2+ release from intracellular stores. Ca2+ puffs, wave initiation, and wave propagation were measured in fluo-4 loaded OP processes using linescan confocal microscopy. Mitochondrial depolarization, measured by tetramethyl rhodamine ethyl ester (TMRE) fluorescence, accompanied Ca2+ puffs and waves. In addition, waves initiated only where mitochondria were localized. To determine whether energized mitochondria were necessary for wave generation, we blocked mitochondrial function with the electron transport chain inhibitor antimycin A (AA) in combination with oligomycin. AA decreased wave speed and puff probability. These effects were not due to global changes in ATP. We found that AA increased cytosolic Ca2+, markedly reduced agonist-evoked inositol trisphosphate (IP3) production, and also enhanced phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) binding to the Ca2+ dependent protein gelsolin. Thus, the reduction in puff probability and wave speed after AA treatment may be explained by competition for PIP2 between phospholipase C and gelsolin. Energized mitochondria and low cytosolic Ca2+ concentration may be required to maintain PIP2, a substrate for IP3 signal transduction.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 03/2002; 80(3):405-15. · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bax, a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, is a cytosolic protein that inserts into mitochondrial membranes upon induction of cell death. Using the green fluorescent protein fused to Bax (GFP-Bax) to quantitate mitochondrial binding in living cells we have investigated the cause of Bax association with mitochondria and the time course relative to endogenous and induced changes in mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m)). We have found that staurosporine (STS) induces a loss in DeltaPsi(m) before GFP-Bax translocation can be measured. The onset of the DeltaPsi(m) loss is followed by a rapid and complete collapse of DeltaPsi(m) which is followed by Bax association with mitochondria. The mitochondria uncoupler FCCP, in the presence of the F(1)-F(0) ATPase inhibitor oligomycin, can trigger Bax translocation to mitochondria suggesting that when ATP levels are maintained a collapse of DeltaPsi(m) induces Bax translocation. Neither FCCP nor oligomycin alone alters Bax location. Bax association with mitochondria is also triggered by inhibitors of the electron transport chain, antimycin and rotenone, compounds that collapse DeltaPsi(m) without inducing rapid ATP hydrolysis that typically occurs with uncouplers such as FCCP. Taken together, our results suggest that alterations in mitochondrial energization associated with apoptosis can initiate Bax docking to mitochondria.
    Cell Death and Differentiation 10/2001; 8(9):909-20. · 8.37 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

537 Citations
94.97 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2014
    • Universidade Federal de São Paulo
      • Departamento de Farmacologia
      San Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2008
    • CEP America
      Emeryville, California, United States
  • 1999–2001
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Section on Molecular Signal Transduction
      Bethesda, MD, United States