Erika K Ross

University of Denver, Denver, CO, United States

Are you Erika K Ross?

Claim your profile

Publications (2)1.65 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress and glutathione (GSH) depletion are both recognized as significant contributors to the pathogenesis of many devastating neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, mitochondrial dysfunction leads to the aberrant production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are capable of oxidizing key cellular proteins, lipids, and DNA, ultimately triggering cell death. In addition to other roles that it plays in the cell, GSH functions as a critical scavenger of these ROS. Therefore, GSH depletion exacerbates cell damage due to free radical generation. Strategies that increase or preserve the levels of intracellular GSH have been shown to act in a neuroprotective manner, suggesting that augmentation of the available GSH pool may be a promising therapeutic target for neurodegeneration. This review discusses the capacity of a cystine-rich, whey protein supplement (Immunocal®) to enhance the de novo synthesis of GSH in neurons, and highlights its potential as a novel therapeutic approach to mitigate the oxidative damage that underlies the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, this review discusses various patents from 1993 to 2012 both with Immunocal® and other methods that modulate GSH in neurodegeneration.
    Recent patents on CNS drug discovery. 06/2012; 7(3):230-5.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial oxidative stress (MOS) is a major factor in the underlying pathology of many neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of a unique class of nutraceutical antioxidants, anthocyanins, against MOS-induced death of cultured cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs). Callistephin and kuromanin are anthocyanins derived from strawberries and black rice, respectively, whose neuroprotective properties have yet to be examined in detail. Glutathione (GSH)-sensitive MOS and intrinsic apoptosis were induced in CGNs by incubation with the Bcl-2 inhibitor, HA14-1. The effects of anthocyanin co-incubation on CGN survival were assessed. The anthocyanins demonstrated significant protection from MOS-induced apoptosis which was equivalent to that provided by the green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin 3-gallate; however, neither anthocyanin was as effective as GSH at rescuing CGNs. Inhibition of Bcl-2 caused a significant reduction of mitochondrial GSH which was prevented by the anthocyanins. Furthermore, the anthocyanins inhibited iron-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates and prevented cardiolipin oxidation induced by MOS in CGNs. MOS-induced mitochondrial fragmentation and proteolytic cleavage of the optic atrophy 1 (OPA1) fusion GTPase were also attenuated by the anthocyanins. Finally, the anthocyanins significantly enhanced GSH peroxidase activity in a cell-free assay. These data show that anthocyanins suppress MOS-induced apoptosis by preserving mitochondrial GSH and inhibiting cardiolipin oxidation and mitochondrial fragmentation. These nutraceutical antioxidants warrant further study as potential therapeutic agents for neurodegenerative diseases caused by MOS.
    Nutritional Neuroscience 11/2011; 14(6):249-59. · 1.65 Impact Factor