ABSTRACT: Central nervous system dysfunctions are among the most significant effects of exposure to ethanol and the glial cells that play an important role in maintaining neuronal function, are extremely involved with these effects. The actin cytoskeleton plays a crucial role in a wide variety of cellular functions, especially when there is some injury. Therefore the aim of the present study was to analyze the short-term effects of ethanol (50, 100 and 200 mM) on the cytoskeleton of C6 glioma cells. Here we report that acute ethanol exposure profoundly disrupts the actin cytoskeleton in C6 cells decreasing stress fiber formation and downregulating RhoA and vinculin immunocontent. In contrast, microtubule and GFAP networks were not altered. We further demonstrate that anti-oxidants prevent ethanol-induced actin alterations, suggesting that the actions of ethanol on the actin cytoskeleton are related with generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in these cells. Our results show that ethanol at concentrations described to be toxic to the central nervous system was able to target the cytoskeleton of C6 cells and this effect could be related with increased ROS generation. Therefore, we propose that the dynamic restructuring of the cytoskeleton of glial cells might contribute to the response to the injury provoked by binge-like ethanol exposure in brain.
Toxicology in Vitro 02/2011; 25(1):28-36. · 2.78 Impact Factor