In JoVE (2)

Other Publications (113)

Articles by Michael R. Duchen in JoVE

Other articles by Michael R. Duchen on PubMed

Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress and Cell Death in Astrocytes--requirement for Stored Ca2+ and Sustained Opening of the Permeability Transition Pore

Journal of Cell Science. Mar, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 11884517

The role of oxidative stress is established in a range of pathologies. As mitochondria are a major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), we have developed a model in which an intramitochondrial photosensitising agent is used to explore the consequences of mitochondrial ROS generation for mitochondrial function and cell fate in primary cells. We have found that, in astrocytes, the interplay between mitochondrial ROS and ER sequestered Ca2+ increased the frequency of transient mitochondrial depolarisations and caused mitochondrial Ca2+ loading from ER stores. The depolarisations were attributable to opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). Initially, transient events were seen in individual mitochondria, but ultimately, the mitochondrial potential (Deltapsi(m)) collapsed completely and irreversibly in the whole population. Both ROS and ER Ca2+ were required to initiate these events, but neither alone was sufficient. Remarkably, the transient events alone appeared innocuous, and caused no increase in either apoptotic or necrotic cell death. By contrast, progression to complete collapse of Deltapsi(m) caused necrotic cell death. Thus increased mitochondrial ROS generation initiates a destructive cycle involving Ca2+ release from stores and mitochondrial Ca2+-loading, which further increases ROS production. The amplification of oxidative stress and Ca2+ loading culminates in opening of the mPTP and necrotic cell death in primary brain cells.

Altered Mechanical Properties and Intracellular Calcium Signaling in Cardiomyocytes from Annexin 6 Null-mutant Mice

FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Apr, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 11919174

Annexin 6 is one of a widely expressed family of calcium-binding proteins found in most mammalian tissues, including the heart. Several studies have implicated annexin 6 in the regulation of intracellular Ca2+ signaling, and it has been shown in vitro to act as a modulator of the sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-release channel, cardiac L-type calcium channel, and Na+/Ca2+ exchanger. To investigate the role of annexin 6 in intact cardiomyocytes, we used mice containing a targeted disruption of the annexin 6 gene. Compared with controls, the myocytes of annexin 6 null-mutant mice demonstrated a significant increase in the rates of shortening and relengthening. Intracellular Ca2+ transients in fura-2-loaded cardiomyocytes induced by caffeine showed a normal baseline and amplitude, whereas the rate of decay was doubled in annexin 6-/- myocytes compared with control mice. These results show that annexin 6 knockout in the mouse leads to an increase in myocyte contractility and faster diastolic Ca2+ removal from the cytoplasm. In light of published findings showing annexin 6 to be down-regulated in end-stage heart failure, these results are consistent with a role for annexin 6 as a negative inotropic factor in the regulation of cardiomyocyte mechanics.

Intracellular Distribution of the Fluorescent Dye Nonyl Acridine Orange Responds to the Mitochondrial Membrane Potential: Implications for Assays of Cardiolipin and Mitochondrial Mass

Journal of Neurochemistry. Jul, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12124423

Cardiolipin, a polyunsaturated acidic phospholipid, is found exclusively in bacterial and mitochondrial membranes where it is intimately associated with the enzyme complexes of the respiratory chain. Cardiolipin structure and concentration are central to the function of these enzyme complexes and damage to the phospholipid may have consequences for mitochondrial function. The fluorescent dye, 10 nonyl acridine orange (NAO), has been shown to bind cardiolipin in vitro and is frequently used as a stain in living cells to assay cardiolipin content. Additionally, NAO staining has been used to measure the mitochondrial content of cells as dye binding to mitochondria is reportedly independent of the membrane potential. We used confocal microscopy to examine the properties of NAO in cortical astrocytes, neonatal cardiomyocytes and in isolated brain mitochondria. We show that NAO, a lipophilic cation, stained mitochondria selectively. However, the accumulation of the dye was clearly dependent upon the mitochondrial membrane potential and depolarisation of mitochondria induced a redistribution of dye. Moreover, depolarisation of mitochondria prior to NAO staining also resulted in a reduced NAO signal. These observations demonstrate that loading and retention of NAO is dependant upon membrane potential, and that the dye cannot be used as an assay of either cardiolipin or mitochondrial mass in living cells.

Mitochondria, Ca2+ and Neurodegenerative Disease

European Journal of Pharmacology. Jul, 2002  |  Pubmed ID: 12151010

Mitochondria play a central role in cell biology not only as producers of ATP, but also in the sequestration of Ca(2+) and the generation of free radicals. They are also repositories of several proteins which regulate apoptosis. Perturbations in the normal functions of mitochondria will inevitably disturb cell function, may sensitise cells to neurotoxic insults and may initiate cell death. Neuronal Ca(2+) overload, such as follows excessive stimulation of Ca(2+) permeant excitatory amino acid receptors, can cause cell death. Recent evidence suggests that the accumulation of Ca(2+) into mitochondria during episodes of cellular Ca(2+) overload initiates a cascade of events that culminate in cell death. Cell death appears to require not only mitochondrial Ca(2+) overload, but rather a combination of raised intramitochondrial Ca(2+) concentration with increased production of nitric oxide and possibly other oxyradical species. Cell death may proceed through either necrotic or apoptotic mechanisms, depending on the rate of consumption and depletion of ATP. Evidence is also accumulating to suggest that more subtle alterations in mitochondrial function may serve as predisposing factors in the pathogenesis of a number of neurodegenerative disorders.

Actions of Ionomycin, 4-BrA23187 and a Novel Electrogenic Ca2+ Ionophore on Mitochondria in Intact Cells

Cell Calcium. Feb, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12531186

We have used fluorescence digital imaging techniques to explore the actions of two groups of Ca(2+) ionophores: (i). ferutinin, an electrogenic naturally occurring ionophore, and (ii). the neutral ionophores 4-BrA23187 and ionomycin, on cytosolic [Ca(2+)] ([Ca(2+)](c)), mitochondrial [Ca(2+)] ([Ca(2+)](m)) and mitochondrial membrane potential (deltapsi(m)) in HepG2 cells and primary hippocampal neurones in culture. 4-BrA23187 and ionomycin promoted the equilibration of [Ca(2+)] gradients between cellular compartments, including ER, mitochondria and cytosol. Thus, [Ca(2+)](c) and [Ca(2+)](m) increased together and then recovered in parallel on removal of the ionophore. In contrast, following a rise in [Ca(2+)](c) in response to ferutinin, [Ca(2+)](m) remained elevated for prolonged periods after the recovery of [Ca(2+)](c) levels despite washout of the compound. Both groups of Ca(2+) ionophores caused some mitochondrial depolarisation, although this was highly variable in degree. Mitochondrial depolarisation induced by ionomycin and 4-BrA23187 was often modest, independent of cyclosporin A (CsA), was suppressed in the absence of extracellular Ca(2+) and was enhanced by pre-incubation of cells with the inhibitor of the mitochondrial Ca(2+)/2Na(+)-exchanger, CGP37157, suggesting that the change in potential reflects the prior state of mitochondrial calcium loading. The mitochondrial depolarisation induced by ferutinin was not influenced by CGP37157 but was completely blocked by CsA, suggesting that it reflects opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP). We suggest that ferutinin may provide a very valuable tool to promote mitochondrial calcium overload experimentally and to promote calcium-dependent opening of the mPTP.

Imaging Mitochondrial Function in Intact Cells

Methods in Enzymology. 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12624920

Changes in Intracellular Calcium and Glutathione in Astrocytes As the Primary Mechanism of Amyloid Neurotoxicity

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jun, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12832532

Although the accumulation of the neurotoxic peptide beta amyloid (betaA) in the CNS is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, the mechanism of betaA neurotoxicity remains controversial. In cultures of mixed neurons and astrocytes, we found that both the full-length peptide betaA (1-42) and the neurotoxic fragment (25-35) caused sporadic cytoplasmic calcium [intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]c)] signals in astrocytes that continued for hours, whereas adjacent neurons were completely unaffected. Nevertheless, after 24 hr, although astrocyte cell death was marginally increased, approximately 50% of the neurons had died. The [Ca2+]c signal was entirely dependent on Ca2+ influx and was blocked by zinc and by clioquinol, a heavy-metal chelator that is neuroprotective in models of Alzheimer's disease. Neuronal death was associated with Ca2+-dependent glutathione depletion in both astrocytes and neurons. Thus, astrocytes appear to be the primary target of betaA, whereas the neurotoxicity reflects the neuronal dependence on astrocytes for antioxidant support.

Inhibiting Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Opening at Reperfusion Protects Against Ischaemia-reperfusion Injury

Cardiovascular Research. Dec, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 14659807

The opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) in the first few minutes of post-ischaemic reperfusion is a critical determinant of reperfusion-induced cell death. We hypothesised that the novel immunosuppressant, sanglifehrin-A (SFA), given at the time of reperfusion, protects the myocardium from ischaemia-reperfusion injury, by suppressing mPTP opening.

Flirting in Little Space: the ER/mitochondria Ca2+ Liaison

Science's STKE : Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment. Jan, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14722345

Mitochondria have long been known to accumulate Ca2+; the apparent inconsistency between the low affinity of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake mechanisms, the low concentration of global Ca2+ signals observed in cytoplasm, and the efficiency in intact cells of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake led to the formulation of the "hotspot hypothesis." This hypothesis proposes that mitochondria preferentially accumulate Ca2+ at microdomains of elevated Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]) that exist near endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+ release sites and other Ca2+ channels. Physiological Ca2+ signals may affect mitochondrial function--both by stimulating key metabolic enzymes and, under some conditions, by promoting apoptosis. Mitochondria in turn may affect both Ca2+ release from the ER and capacitative Ca2+ entry across the plasma membrane, thereby shaping the size and duration of the intracellular Ca2+ signal. Interactions between mitochondria and the ER are critically dependent on the spatial localization of mitochondria within the cell. The molecular mechanisms that define the organization of mitochondria with regard to the ER and other Ca2+ sources, and the extent to which mitochondrial function varies among different cell types, are open questions whose answers remain to be determined.

Beta-amyloid Peptides Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress in Astrocytes and Death of Neurons Through Activation of NADPH Oxidase

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jan, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14724257

Beta-amyloid (betaA) peptide is strongly implicated in the neurodegeneration underlying Alzheimer's disease, but the mechanisms of neurotoxicity remain controversial. This study establishes a central role for oxidative stress by the activation of NADPH oxidase in astrocytes as the cause of betaA-induced neuronal death. betaA causes a loss of mitochondrial potential in astrocytes but not in neurons. The mitochondrial response consists of Ca2+-dependent transient depolarizations superimposed on a slow collapse of potential. The slow response is both prevented by antioxidants and, remarkably, reversed by provision of glutamate and other mitochondrial substrates to complexes I and II. These findings suggest that the depolarization reflects oxidative damage to metabolic pathways upstream of mitochondrial respiration. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase by diphenylene iodonium or 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy-acetophenone blocks betaA-induced reactive oxygen species generation, prevents the mitochondrial depolarization, prevents betaA-induced glutathione depletion in both neurons and astrocytes, and protects neurons from cell death, placing the astrocyte NADPH oxidase as a primary target of betaA-induced neurodegeneration.

Roles of Mitochondria in Health and Disease

Diabetes. Feb, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14749273

Mitochondria play a central role in cell life and cell death. An increasing number of studies place mitochondrial dysfunction at the heart of disease, most notably in the heart and the central nervous system. In this article, I review some of the key features of mitochondrial biology and focus on the pathways of mitochondrial calcium accumulation. Substantial evidence now suggests that the accumulation of calcium into mitochondria may play a key role as a trigger to mitochondrial pathology, especially when that calcium uptake is accompanied by another stressor, in particular nitrosative or oxidative stress. The major process involved is the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, a large conductance pore that causes a collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential, leading to ATP depletion and necrotic cell death or to cytochrome c release and apoptosis, depending on the rate of ATP consumption. I discuss two models in particular in which these processes have been characterized. The first is a model of oxidative stress in cardiomyocytes, in which reperfusion after ischemia causes mitochondrial calcium overload, and oxidative stress. Recent experiments suggest that cardioprotection by hypoxic preconditioning or exposure to the ATP-dependent K(+) channel opener diazoxide increases mitochondrial resistance to oxidative injury. In a second model, of calcium overload in neurons, the neurotoxicity of glutamate depends on mitochondrial calcium uptake, but the toxicity to mitochondria also requires the generation of nitric oxide. Glutamate toxicity after activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors results from the colocalization of NMDA receptors with neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS). The calcium increase mediated by NMDA receptor activation is thus associated with nitric oxide generation, and the combination leads to the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential followed by cell death.

Interplay Between Mitochondria and Cellular Calcium Signalling

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. Jan-Feb, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14977182

Mitochondria are increasingly ascribed central roles in vital cell signalling cascades. These organelles are now recognised as initiators and transducers of a range of cell signals, including those central to activation and amplification of apoptotic cell death. Moreover, as the main source of cellular ATP, mitochondria must be responsive to fluctuating energy demands of the cell. As local and global fluctuations in calcium concentration are ubiquitous in eukaryotic cells and are the common factor in a dizzying array of intra- and inter-cellular signalling cascades, the relationships between mitochondrial function and calcium transients is currently a subject of intense scrutiny. It is clear that mitochondria not only act as local calcium buffers, thus shaping spatiotemporal aspects of cytosolic calcium signals, but that they also respond to calcium uptake by upregulating the tricarboxylic acid cycle, thus reacting metabolically to local signalling. In this chapter we review current knowledge of mechanisms of mitochondrial calcium uptake and release and discuss the consequences of mitochondrial calcium handling for cell function, particularly in conjunction with mitochondrial oxidative stress.

The Large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ Channel is Essential for Innate Immunity

Nature. Feb, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 14985765

Neutrophil leukocytes have a pivotal function in innate immunity. Dogma dictates that the lethal blow is delivered to microbes by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and halogens, products of the NADPH oxidase, whose impairment causes immunodeficiency. However, recent evidence indicates that the microbes might be killed by proteases, activated by the oxidase through the generation of a hypertonic, K+-rich and alkaline environment in the phagocytic vacuole. Here we show that K+ crosses the membrane through large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK(Ca)) channels. Specific inhibitors of these channels, iberiotoxin and paxilline, blocked oxidase-induced 86Rb+ fluxes and alkalinization of the phagocytic vacuole, whereas NS1619, a BK(Ca) channel opener, enhanced both. Characteristic outwardly rectifying K+ currents, reversibly inhibited by iberiotoxin, were demonstrated in neutrophils and eosinophils and the expression of the alpha-subunit of the BK channel was confirmed by western blotting. The channels were opened by the combination of membrane depolarization and elevated Ca2+ concentration, both consequences of oxidase activity. Remarkably, microbial killing and digestion were abolished when the BK(Ca) channel was blocked, revealing an essential and unexpected function for this K+ channel in the microbicidal process.

Toxicity of Amyloid Beta Peptide: Tales of Calcium, Mitochondria, and Oxidative Stress

Neurochemical Research. Mar, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15038611

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides. Although the disease undoubtedly reflects the interaction of complex multifactorial processes, Abeta itself is toxic to neurons in vitro and the load of Abeta in vivo correlates well with the degree of cognitive impairment. There has therefore been considerable interest in the mechanism(s) of Abeta neurotoxicity. We here review the basic biology of Abeta processing and consider some of the major areas of focus of this research. It is clear that both AD and Abeta toxicity are characterized by oxidative stress, alterations in the activity of enzymes of intermediary metabolism, and mitochondrial dysfunction, especially impaired activity of cytochrome c oxidase. Studies in vitro also show alterations in cellular calcium signaling. We consider the mechanisms proposed to mediate cell injury and explore evidence to indicate which of these many changes in function are primary and which secondary.

Preconditioning Protects by Inhibiting the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition

American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Aug, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15072953

Mitochondrial permeability transition (mPT) is a crucial event in the progression to cell death in the setting of ischemia-reperfusion. We have used a model system in which mPT can be reliably and reproducibly induced to test the hypothesis that the profound protection associated with the phenomenon of myocardial preconditioning is mediated by suppression of the mPT. Adult rat myocytes were loaded with the fluorescent probe tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester, which generates oxidative stress on laser illumination, thus inducing the mPT (indicated by collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential) and ATP depletion, seen as rigor contracture. The known inhibitors of the mPT, cyclosporin A (0.2 microM) and N-methyl-4-valine-cyclosporin A (0.4 microM), increased the time taken to induce the mPT by 1.8- and 2.9-fold, respectively, compared with control (P < 0.001) and rigor contracture by 1.5-fold compared with control (P < 0.001). Hypoxic preconditioning (HP) and pharmacological preconditioning, using diazoxide (30 microM) or nicorandil (100 microM), also increased the time taken to induce the mPT by 2.0-, 2.1-, and 1.5-fold, respectively (P < 0.001), and rigor contracture by 1.9-, 1.7-, and 1.5-fold, respectively, compared with control (P < 0.001). Effects of HP, diazoxide, and nicorandil were abolished in the presence of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channel blockers glibenclamide (10 microM) and 5-hydroxydecanoate (100 microM) but were maintained in the presence of the sarcolemmal K(ATP) channel blocker HMR-1098 (10 microM). In conclusion, preconditioning protects the myocardium by reducing the probability of the mPT, which normally occurs during ischemia-reperfusion in response to oxidative stress.

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)-D and VEGF-A Differentially Regulate KDR-mediated Signaling and Biological Function in Vascular Endothelial Cells

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Aug, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15215251

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-D binds to VEGF receptors (VEGFR) VEGFR2/KDR and VEGFR3/Flt4, but the signaling mechanisms mediating its biological activities in endothelial cells are poorly understood. Here we investigated the mechanism of action of VEGF-D, and we compared the signaling pathways and biological responses induced by VEGF-D and VEGF-A in endothelial cells. VEGF-D induced KDR and phospholipase C-gamma tyrosine phosphorylation more slowly and less effectively than VEGF-A at early times but had a more sustained effect and was as effective as VEGF-A after 60 min. VEGF-D activated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 with similar efficacy but slower kinetics compared with VEGF-A, and this effect was blocked by inhibitors of protein kinase C and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase. In contrast to VEGF-A, VEGF-D weakly stimulated prostacyclin production and gene expression, had little effect on cell proliferation, and stimulated a smaller and more transient increase in intracellular [Ca(2+)]. VEGF-D induced strong but more transient phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-mediated Akt activation and increased PI3K-dependent endothelial nitric-oxide synthase phosphorylation and cell survival more weakly. VEGF-D stimulated chemotaxis via a PI3K/Akt- and endothelial nitric-oxide synthase-dependent pathway, enhanced protein kinase C- and PI3K-dependent endothelial tubulogenesis, and stimulated angiogenesis in a mouse sponge implant model less effectively than VEGF-A. VEGF-D-induced signaling and biological effects were blocked by the KDR inhibitor SU5614. The finding that differential KDR activation by VEGF-A and VEGF-D has distinct consequences for endothelial signaling and function has important implications for understanding how multiple ligands for the same VEGF receptors can generate ligand-specific biological responses.

Mitochondria in Health and Disease: Perspectives on a New Mitochondrial Biology

Molecular Aspects of Medicine. Aug, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15302203

The integrity of mitochondrial function is fundamental to cell life. It follows that disturbances of mitochondrial function will lead to disruption of cell function, expressed as disease or even death. In this review, I consider recent developments in our knowledge of basic aspects of mitochondrial biology as an essential step in developing our understanding of the contributions of mitochondria to disease. The identification of novel mechanisms that govern mitochondrial biogenesis and replication, and the delicately poised signalling pathways that coordinate the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes are discussed. As fluorescence imaging has made the study of mitochondrial function within cells accessible, the application of that technology to the exploration of mitochondrial bioenergetics is reviewed. Mitochondrial calcium uptake plays a major role in influencing cell signalling and in the regulation of mitochondrial function, while excessive mitochondrial calcium accumulation has been extensively implicated in disease. Mitochondria are major producers of free radical species, possibly also of nitric oxide, and are also major targets of oxidative damage. Mechanisms of mitochondrial radical generation, targets of oxidative injury and the potential role of uncoupling proteins as regulators of radical generation are discussed. The role of mitochondria in apoptotic and necrotic cell death is seminal and is briefly reviewed. This background leads to a discussion of ways in which these processes combine to cause illness in the neurodegenerative diseases and in cardiac reperfusion injury. The demands of mitochondria and their complex integration into cell biology extends far beyond the provision of ATP, prompting a radical change in our perception of mitochondria and placing these organelles centre stage in many aspects of cell biology and medicine.

Calcium Signals Induced by Amyloid Beta Peptide and Their Consequences in Neurons and Astrocytes in Culture

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Dec, 2004  |  Pubmed ID: 15590058

In Alzheimer's disease, amyloid beta (Abeta) peptide is deposited in neuritic plaques in the brain. The Abeta peptide 1-42 or the fragment 25-35 are neurotoxic. We here review our recent explorations of the mechanisms of Abeta toxicity in hippocampal cultures. Abeta had no effect on intracellular calcium in neurons but caused striking changes in nearby astrocytes. The [Ca(2+)](c) signals started approximately 5-15 min after Abeta application and consisted of sporadic [Ca(2+)](c) pulses. These were entirely dependent on extracellular Ca(2+), independent of ER Ca(2+) stores and resulted from Ca(2+) influx, probably through Abeta-induced membrane channels. The Ca(2+) signals were closely associated with transient, episodic acidification which may reflect displacement of protons from binding sites or Ca(2+)/2H(+) exchange. Abeta caused an increased rate of generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), also seen in astrocytes and not in neurons. The increased ROS generation was blocked by inhibitors of the NADPH oxidase, strongly suggesting that this enzyme, normally associated with immune cells, is expressed in astrocytes. ROS generation was also Ca(2+)-dependent, suggesting that Abeta activation of the enzyme may be secondary to the increase in [Ca(2+)](c). Abeta caused delayed neuronal death despite the fact that all responses were seen only in astrocytes. Neurons could not be protected by glutamate receptor antagonists, but were rescued by inhibition of the NADPH oxidase, by antioxidants and by increasing glutathione. These data suggest that Abeta causes Ca(2+)-dependent oxidative stress by activating an astrocytic NADPH oxidase, and that neuronal death follows through a failure of antioxidant support.

Prostaglandin F2alpha Potentiates the Calcium Dependent Activation of Mitochondrial Metabolism in Luteal Cells

Cell Calcium. Jan, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15541462

Cytoplasmic Ca2+ signals are transferred to the mitochondria and activate the Krebs cycle. We have compared the efficiency of this process for two Ca2+ mobilising agonists, PGF2alpha and ATP (acting at metabotropic P2 receptors) in rat luteal cells. [Ca2+]c, [Ca2+]m and mitochondrial NAD(P)H were monitored by means of microspectrofluorimetry and confocal microscopy. While both agonists caused similar elevations of [Ca2+]c, changes in NAD(P)H were larger in response to PGF2alpha than to ATP. PGF2alpha more effectively increased NAD(P)H level also in mouse luteal cells. PGF2alpha caused a faster rate of rise of NAD(P)H fluorescence than ATP when reoxidation was prevented with rotenone, suggesting a faster rate of NAD(P)+ reduction. The NAD(P)H response to both agonists was dependent on the mobilisation of stored Ca2+. We found no difference in the efficacy of transmission of the [Ca2+]c signal to mitochondria in response to PGF2alpha and ATP. Raising [Ca2+]c with ionomycin increased the NAD(P)H signal, which was further raised by PGF2alpha but not by ATP. These data suggest that PGF2alpha potentiates the Ca2+-induced stimulation of mitochondrial metabolism by a Ca2+-independent mechanism and shows that agonists may modulate mitochondrial function differentially through a novel process beyond the simple transfer of Ca2+ from ER to mitochondria.

Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore As a Target for Cardioprotection in the Human Heart

American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology. Jul, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15961375

After an episode of myocardial ischemia, opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), at the onset of reperfusion, is a critical determinant of myocyte death. We investigated the role of the mPTP as a target for cardioprotection in the human heart. We subjected human atrial tissue, harvested from patients undergoing cardiac surgery, to a period of lethal hypoxia and investigated the effect of suppressing mPTP opening at the onset of reoxygenation. We found that suppressing mPTP opening at the onset of reoxygenation with known mPTP inhibitors cyclosporin A (CsA, 0.2 micromol/l) and sanglifehrin A (SfA, 1.0 micromol/l) 1) improved recovery of baseline contractile function from 29.4 +/- 2.0% under control conditions to 48.7 +/- 2.2% with CsA and 46.1 +/- 2.3% with SfA (P < 0.01) and 2) improved cell survival from 62.8 +/- 5.3% under hypoxic control conditions to 91.4 +/- 4.1% with CsA and 87.2 +/- 6.2% with SfA (P < 0.001). Furthermore, with a cell model in which oxidative stress was used to induce mPTP opening in human atrial myocytes, we demonstrated directly that CsA and SfA mediated their cardioprotective effects by inhibiting mPTP opening, as evidenced by an extension in the time required to induce mPTP opening from 116 +/- 8 s under control conditions to 189 +/- 10 s with CsA and 183 +/- 12 s with SfA (P < 0.01). We report that suppressing mPTP opening at the onset of reoxygenation protects human myocardium against lethal hypoxia-reoxygenation injury. This suggests that, in the human heart, the mPTP is a viable target for cardioprotection.

Induction of Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress in Astrocytes by Nitric Oxide Precedes Disruption of Energy Metabolism

Journal of Neurochemistry. Oct, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16104850

Inhibition of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) ultimately limits ATP production and depletes cellular ATP. However, the individual complexes of the ETC in brain mitochondria need to be inhibited by approximately 50% before causing significant depression of ATP synthesis. Moreover, the ETC is the key site for the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inhibition of one or more of the complexes of the ETC may increase the rate of mitochondrial ROS generation. We asked whether partial inhibition of the ETC, to a degree insufficient to perturb oxidative phosphorylation, might nonetheless induce ROS production. Chronic increase in mitochondrial ROS might then cause oxidative damage to the ETC sufficient to produce prolonged changes in ETC function and so compound the defect. We show that the exposure of astrocytes in culture to low concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) induces an increased rate of O2*- generation that outlasts the presence of NO. No effect was seen on oxygen consumption, lactate or ATP content over the 4-6 h that the cells were exposed to NO. These data suggest that partial ETC inhibition by NO may initially cause oxidative stress rather than ATP depletion, and this may subsequently induce irreversible changes in ETC function providing the basis for a cycle of damage.

Expression and Modulation of an NADPH Oxidase in Mammalian Astrocytes

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Oct, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16207877

Amyloid beta peptides generate oxidative stress in hippocampal astrocytes through a mechanism sensitive to inhibitors of the NADPH oxidase [diphenylene iodonium (DPI) and apocynin]. Seeking evidence for the expression and function of the enzyme in primary hippocampal astrocytes, we confirmed the expression of the subunits of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase by Western blot analysis and by immunofluorescence and coexpression with the astrocyte-specific marker glial fibrillary acidic protein both in cultures and in vivo. Functional assays using lucigenin luminescence, dihydroethidine, or dicarboxyfluorescein fluorescence to measure the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) demonstrated DPI and apocynin-sensitive ROS generation in response to the phorbol ester PMA and to raised [Ca2+]c after application of ionomycin or P2u receptor activation. Stimulation by PMA but not Ca2+ was inhibited by the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors staurosporine and hispidin. Responses were absent in transgenic mice lacking gp91phox. Expression of gp91phox and p67phox was increased in reactive astrocytes, which showed increased rates of both resting and stimulated ROS generation. NADPH oxidase activity was modulated by intracellular pH, suppressed by intracellular alkalinization, and enhanced by acidification. The protonophore carbonyl cyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone suppressed basal ROS generation but markedly increased PMA-stimulated ROS generation. This was independent of mitochondrial ROS production, because it was unaffected by mitochondrial depolarization with rotenone and oligomycin. Thus, the NADPH oxidase is expressed in astrocytes and is functional, activated by PKC and intracellular calcium, modulated by pHi, and upregulated by astrocyte activation. The astrocytic NADPH oxidase is likely to play important roles in CNS physiology and pathology.

Effects of Beauvericin on the Metabolic State and Ionic Homeostasis of Ventricular Myocytes of the Guinea Pig

Chemical Research in Toxicology. Nov, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16300374

Beauvericin, a cyclic hexadepsipeptide with antibiotic properties, has been shown to reduce contraction force and to affect action potential parameters of guinea pig papillary muscles. Its potential to form cation-selective channels in mammalian membranes has been demonstrated. Patch clamp and fluorescence imaging techniques were used to investigate its effects in enzymatically isolated ventricular myocytes. Application of 10 microM beauvericin caused a large [Ca2+]i increase in Fura 2AM-loaded cardiomyocytes leading to cell shortening. The effect could be partially inhibited by ryanodine pretreatment and was largely dependent on external Ca2+ and blocked by 5 mM Ni2+. Beauvericin initiated a progressive increase in [Mg2+]i, the time course of which developed similarly upon increasing the external chemical gradient of Mg2+ 10-fold, to produce an ionophoric challenge. Monitoring of pH(i) with BCECF showed that beauvericin caused cytosolic acidification. Confocal microscopy revealed mitochondrial depolarization in TMRM-loaded cardiomyocytes, which resembled the effect of classical mitochondrial uncouplers. However, the NADH autofluorescence signal followed a biphasic pattern, in contrast to the NADH response to the uncouplers FCCP and the K+-ionophore valinomycin. These results suggest that beauvericin, possibly via its ionophoric properties, acts as an atypical mitochondrial uncoupler, greatly disturbs the physiological ionic balance and pH, challenges cellular metabolism, and causes ATP depletion.

The Role of an Astrocytic NADPH Oxidase in the Neurotoxicity of Amyloid Beta Peptides

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. Dec, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 16321801

Amyloid beta peptide (Abeta) accumulates in the CNS in Alzheimer's disease. Both the full peptide (1-42) or the 25-35 fragment are toxic to neurons in culture. We have used fluorescence imaging technology to explore the mechanism of neurotoxicity in mixed asytrocyte/neuronal cultures prepared from rat or mouse cortex or hippocampus, and have found that Abeta acts preferentially on astrocytes but causes neuronal death. Abeta causes sporadic transient increases in [Ca2+]c in astrocytes, associated with a calcium dependent increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione depletion. This caused a slow dissipation of mitochondrial potential on which abrupt calcium dependent transient depolarizations were superimposed. The mitochondrial depolarization was reversed by mitochondrial substrates glutamate, pyruvate or methyl succinate, and by NADPH oxidase (NOX) inhibitors, suggesting that it reflects oxidative damage to metabolic pathways upstream of mitochondrial complex I. The Abeta induced increase in ROS and the mitochondrial depolarization were absent in cells cultured from transgenic mice lacking the NOX component, gp91phox. Neuronal death after 24 h of Abeta exposure was dramatically reduced both by NOX inhibitors and in gp91phox knockout mice. Thus, by raising [Ca2+]c in astrocytes, Abeta activates NOX, generating oxidative stress that is transmitted to neurons, causing neuronal death.

IL-6 Induces PI 3-kinase and Nitric Oxide-dependent Protection and Preserves Mitochondrial Function in Cardiomyocytes

Cardiovascular Research. Jan, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16219301

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which is a prognostic marker associated with left ventricular contractile dysfunction and heart failure. On the other hand, IL-6 activates signalling pathways which mediate delayed ischemic preconditioning. We have therefore studied the cellular mechanisms of IL-6-induced cardioprotection.

Signalling Via the Reperfusion Injury Signalling Kinase (RISK) Pathway Links Closure of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore to Cardioprotection

The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. Mar, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16280253

Post-ischemic interventions that activate phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K)-Akt or ERK1/2 pro-survival kinases (the so-called "reperfusion injury signalling kinase (RISK) pathway") during the first few minutes of reperfusion protect against lethal reperfusion-induced injury. We have previously shown that insulin protects against reperfusion-induced injury via activation of the PI3K-Akt pathway. In addition, opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) at the time of reperfusion is a major determinant of lethal reperfusion-induced injury, and pharmacologically inhibiting it is cardioprotective. In this study, we examined the relationship between the pro-survival kinase pathways and mPTP opening. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that activation of the pro-survival kinase pathway by insulin protects cardiomyocytes by reducing the probability of mPTP opening upon reperfusion. Laser illumination of the fluorophore, tetramethyl rhodamine methyl ester (TMRM), was used to induce oxidative stress in the preparation of adult rat ventricular cardiomyocytes. Maintained illumination ultimately induces mPTP opening, detected as a global mitochondrial depolarization, followed by ATP depletion and rigor contracture. Insulin significantly delayed mPTP opening by a factor of approximately 1.7-fold (P<0.001). The effect of insulin was prevented by Wortmannin and by LY-294002, inhibitors of the PI3K pathway, by SH-6, a selective inhibitor of Akt, and by L-NAME, an inhibitor of nitric oxide production. The expression of a dominant negative construct of Akt eliminated the effect of insulin in delaying mPTP opening in a cardiac cell line. Furthermore, the overexpression of constitutively active Akt was sufficient to maximally delay mPTP opening. These results indicate that activation of the PI3K-Akt pro-survival kinase pathway inhibits opening of the mPTP, and demonstrate an important link between the survival kinases and the mPTP.

Effects of NO on Mitochondrial Function in Cardiomyocytes: Pathophysiological Relevance

Cardiovascular Research. Jul, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16515774

Although the specific roles of nitric oxide (NO) in the heart in general and on cardiac mitochondria in particular remain controversial, it is now clear that both endogenous and exogenous sources of NO exert important modulatory effects on mitochondrial function. There is also growing evidence that NO can be produced within the mitochondria themselves. NO can influence respiratory activity, both through direct effects on the respiratory chain or indirectly via modulation of mitochondrial calcium accumulation. At pathological concentrations, NO can cause irreversible alterations in respiratory function and can also interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to form reactive nitrogen species, which may further impair mitochondrial respiration and can even lead to opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and cell death. Diabetes, aging, myocardial ischemia, and heart failure have all been associated with altered ROS generation, which can alter the delicate regulatory balance of effects of NO in the mitochondria. As NO competes with oxygen at cytochrome oxidase, it can be argued that experiments exploring the roles of NO on mitochondrial respiration should be performed at physiological (i.e. relatively low) oxygen tensions. Improvements in techniques, and a gradual appreciation of the many potential pitfalls in studying mitochondrial NO, are leading to a recognition of the role of NO in the regulation of mitochondrial function in the heart in health and disease.

Mitochondrial Uncoupling, with Low Concentration FCCP, Induces ROS-dependent Cardioprotection Independent of KATP Channel Activation

Cardiovascular Research. Nov, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16950237

Both K(ATP) channel opening drugs and ischaemic preconditioning have been suggested to protect the ischaemic heart by acting on K(ATP) channels in the inner mitochondrial membrane, uncoupling the proton gradient and partially dissipating the mitochondrial membrane potential. The aim of these studies was to use low concentrations of FCCP, a mitochondrial protonophore, to bypass the mitochondrial K(ATP) channel and partially uncouple the mitochondria and establish whether this activates protective pathways within the rat heart analogous to K(ATP) channel openers or preconditioning.

FCCP is Cardioprotective at Concentrations That Cause Mitochondrial Oxidation Without Detectable Depolarisation

Cardiovascular Research. Nov, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16979603

The role of mitochondria and in particular of mitochondrial uncoupling in the mechanism of cardioprotection is not defined. In the accompanying paper we have shown that pretreatment of isolated rat hearts with a low concentration (100 nM) of FCCP, prior to global ischaemia, is cardioprotective, while 300 nM FCCP exacerbates injury. Here we define the mitochondrial responses to increasing concentrations of FCCP and also to explore the equivalence of the cardioprotective doses of diazoxide.

Calcium Microdomains and Oxidative Stress

Cell Calcium. Nov-Dec, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17049598

The phenomenon of calcium microdomains is firmly established in the field of subcellular physiology. These regions of localized, transient calcium increase are exemplified by the spontaneous 'sparks' released through the ryanodine receptor in myocytes, but include subplasmalemmal microdomains, focal calcium oscillations and microdomains enclosed within organelles, such as the endoplasmic reticulum, golgi and mitochondria. Increasing evidence suggests that oxidative stress regulates both the formation and disappearance of microdomains. Calcium release channels and transporters are all modulated by redox state, while several mechanisms that generate oxidative or nitrosative stress are regulated by calcium. Here, we discuss the evidence for the regulation of calcium microdomains by redox state, and, by way of example, demonstrate that the frequency of calcium sparks in cardiomyocytes is increased in response to oxidative stress. We consider the evidence for the existence of analogous microdomains of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and suggest that the refinement of imaging techniques for these species might lead to similar concepts. The interaction between Ca(2+) microdomains and proteins that modulate their formation results in a complex and dynamic, spatial signaling mechanism, which is likely to be broadly applicable to different cell types, adding new dimensions to the calcium signaling 'toolkit'.

Regulation of Redox Metabolism in the Mouse Oocyte and Embryo

Development (Cambridge, England). Feb, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17185319

Energy homeostasis of the oocyte is a crucial determinant of fertility. Following ovulation, the oocyte is exposed to the unique environment of the Fallopian tube, and this is reflected in a highly specialised biochemistry. The minute amounts of tissue available have made the physiological analysis of oocyte intermediary metabolism almost impossible. We have therefore used confocal imaging of mitochondrial and cytosolic redox state under a range of conditions to explore the oxidative metabolism of intermediary substrates. It has been known for some time that the early mouse embryo metabolises external pyruvate and lactate but not glucose to produce ATP. We now show at the level of single oocytes, that supplied glucose has no effect on the redox potential of the oocyte. Pyruvate is a cytosolic oxidant but a mitochondrial reductant, while lactate is a strong cytosolic reductant via the activity of lactate dehydrogenase. Unexpectedly, lactate-derived pyruvate appears to be diverted from mitochondrial oxidation. Our approach also reveals that the level of reduced glutathione (GSH) in the oocyte is maintained by glutathione reductase, which oxidises intracellular NADPH to reduce oxidised glutathione. Surprisingly, NADPH does not seem to be supplied by the pentose phosphate pathway in the unfertilised oocyte but rather by cytosolic NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase. Remarkably, we also found that the oxidant action of pyruvate impairs development, demonstrating the fundamental importance of redox state on early development.

Three Distinct Mechanisms Generate Oxygen Free Radicals in Neurons and Contribute to Cell Death During Anoxia and Reoxygenation

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Jan, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17267568

Ischemia is a major cause of brain damage, and patient management is complicated by the paradoxical injury that results from reoxygenation. We have now explored the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in hippocampal and cortical neurons in culture in response to oxygen and glucose deprivation or metabolic inhibition and reoxygenation. Fluorescence microscopy was used to measure the rate of ROS generation using hydroethidine, dicarboxyfluorescein diacetate, or MitoSOX. ROS generation was correlated with changing mitochondrial potential (rhodamine 123), [Ca2+]c (fluo-4, fura-2, or Indo-1), or ATP consumption, indicated by increased [Mg2+]c. We found that three distinct mechanisms contribute to neuronal injury by generating ROS and oxidative stress, each operating at a different stage of ischemia and reperfusion. In response to hypoxia, mitochondria generate an initial burst of ROS, which is curtailed once mitochondria depolarize or prevented by previous depolarization with uncoupler. A second phase of ROS generation that followed after a delay was blocked by the xanthine oxidase (XO) inhibitor oxypurinol. This phase correlated with a rise in [Mg2+]c, suggesting XO activation by accumulating products of ATP consumption. A third phase of ROS generation appeared at reoxygenation. This was blocked by NADPH oxidase inhibitors and was absent in cells from gp91(phox-/-) knock-out mice. It was Ca2+ dependent, suggesting activation by increased [Ca2+]c during anoxia, itself partly attributable to glutamate release. Inhibition of either the NADPH oxidase or XO was significantly neuroprotective. Thus, oxidative stress contributes to cell death over and above the injury attributable to energy deprivation.

Endothelial Mitochondria: Contributing to Vascular Function and Disease

Circulation Research. Apr, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17463328

Disturbances in vascular function contribute to the development of several diseases of increasing prevalence and thereby contribute significantly to human mortality and morbidity. Atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart failure, and ischemia with attendant reperfusion injury share many of the same risk factors, among the most important being oxidative stress and alterations in the blood concentrations of compounds that influence oxidative stress, such as oxidized low-density lipoprotein. In this review, we focus on endothelial cells: cells in the frontline against these disturbances. Because ATP supplies in endothelial cells are relatively independent of mitochondrial oxidative pathways, the mitochondria of endothelial cells have been somewhat neglected. However, they are emerging as agents with diverse roles in modulating the dynamics of intracellular calcium and the generation of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide. The mitochondria may also constitute critical "targets" of oxidative stress, because survival of endothelial cells can be compromised by opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore or by mitochondrial pathways of apoptosis. In addition, evidence suggests that endothelial mitochondria may play a "reconnaissance" role. For example, although the exact mechanism remains obscure, endothelial mitochondria may sense levels of oxygen in the blood and relay this information to cardiac myocytes as well as modulating the vasodilatory response mediated by endothelial nitric oxide.

Mitochondrial ND5 Gene Variation Associated with Encephalomyopathy and Mitochondrial ATP Consumption

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dec, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17940288

Mitochondrial encephalomyopathy and lactic acidosis with strokelike episodes (MELAS) is a severe young onset stroke disorder without effective treatment. We have identified a MELAS patient harboring a 13528A-->G mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation in the Complex I ND5 gene. This mutation was homoplasmic in mtDNA from patient muscle and nearly homoplasmic (99.9%) in blood. Fibroblasts from the patient exhibited decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsim) and increased lactate production, consistent with impaired mitochondrial function. Transfer of patient mtDNA to a new nuclear background using transmitochondrial cybrid fusions confirmed the pathogenicity of the 13528A-->G mutation; Complex I-linked respiration and Deltapsim were both significantly reduced in patient mtDNA cybrids compared with controls. Inhibition of the adenine nucleotide translocase or the F1F0-ATPase with bongkrekic acid or oligomycin caused a loss of potential in patient mtDNA cybrid mitochondria, indicating a requirement for glycolytically generated ATP to maintain Deltapsim. This was confirmed by inhibition of glycolysis with 2-deoxy-D-glucose, which caused depletion of ATP and mitochondrial depolarization in patient mtDNA cybrids. These data suggest that in response to impaired respiration due to the mtDNA mutation, mitochondria consume ATP to maintain Deltapsim, representing a potential pathophysiological mechanism in human mitochondrial disease.

Targeted Polyphosphatase Expression Alters Mitochondrial Metabolism and Inhibits Calcium-dependent Cell Death

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Nov, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17986607

Polyphosphate (polyP) consists of tens to hundreds of phosphates, linked by ATP-like high-energy bonds. Although polyP is present in mammalian mitochondria, its physiological roles there are obscure. Here, we examine the involvement of polyP in mitochondrial energy metabolism and ion transport. We constructed a vector to express a mitochondrially targeted polyphosphatase, along with a GFP fluorescent tag. Specific reduction of mitochondrial polyP, by polyphosphatase expression, significantly modulates mitochondrial bioenergetics, as indicated by the reduction of inner membrane potential and increased NADH levels. Furthermore, reduction of polyP levels increases mitochondrial capacity to accumulate calcium and reduces the likelihood of the calcium-induced mitochondrial permeability transition, a central event in many types of necrotic cell death. This confers protection against cell death, including that induced by beta-amyloid peptide, a pathogenic agent in Alzheimer's disease. These results demonstrate a crucial role played by polyP in mitochondrial function of mammalian cells.

Assessing Mitochondrial Potential, Calcium, and Redox State in Isolated Mammalian Cells Using Confocal Microscopy

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 18314743

Mitochondria play a vital role in the regulation of intracellular calcium dynamics. Fluorescent dyes can be used to provide a direct measurement of the redox state, mitochondrial membrane potential, and mitochondrial calcium content. The simplicity of this approach lends itself to high-throughput assays and time-resolved analyses; however, care must be taken to avoid artifactual results. We outline general methods using confocal microscopy for analysis of the redox state, mitochondrial membrane potential, and mitochondrial calcium content in adult cardiomyocytes. We demonstrate how these parameters can be analyzed in parallel using the emission spectra "fingerprinting" method even when emission spectra overlap.

Mitochondria and Calcium in Health and Disease

Cell Calcium. Jul, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18378306

Mitochondria: the Hub of Cellular Ca2+ Signaling

Physiology (Bethesda, Md.). Apr, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18400691

Mitochondria couple cellular metabolic state with Ca(2+) transport processes. They therefore control not only their own intra-organelle [Ca(2+)], but they also influence the entire cellular network of cellular Ca(2+) signaling, including the endoplasmic reticulum, the plasma membrane, and the nucleus. Through the detailed study of mitochondrial roles in Ca(2+) signaling, a remarkable picture of inter-organelle communication has emerged. We here review the ways in which this system provides integrity and flexibility for the cell to cope with the countless demands throughout its life cycle and discuss briefly the mechanisms through which it can also drive cell death.

Mechanisms Underlying the Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential in Glutamate Excitotoxicity

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Jul-Aug, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18471431

Glutamate excitotoxicity amplifies neuronal death following stroke. We have explored the mechanisms underlying the collapse of mitochondrial potential (Deltapsi(m)) and loss of [Ca(2+)](c) homeostasis in rat hippocampal neurons in culture following toxic glutamate exposure. The collapse of Deltapsi(m) is multiphasic and Ca(2+)-dependent. Glutamate induced a decrease in NADH autofluorescence which preceded the loss of Deltapsi(m). Both the decrease in NADH signal and the loss of Deltapsi(m) were suppressed by Ru360 and both were delayed by inhibition of PARP (by 3-AB or DPQ). During this period, addition of mitochondrial substrates (methyl succinate and TMPD-ascorbate) or buffering [Ca(2+)](i) (using BAPTA-AM or EGTA-AM), rescued Deltapsi(m). These data suggest that mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake activates PARP which in turn depletes NADH, promoting the initial collapse of Deltapsi(m). After > approximately 20 min, buffering Ca(2+) or substrate addition failed to restore Deltapsi(m). In neurons from cyclophilin D-/- (cypD-/-) mice or in cells treated with cyclosporine A, removal of Ca(2+) restored Deltapsi(m) even after 20 min of glutamate exposure, suggesting involvement of the mPTP in the irreversible depolarisation seen in WT cells. Thus, mitochondrial depolarisation represents two consecutive but distinct processes driving cell death, the first of which is reversible while the second is not.

PINK1 is Necessary for Long Term Survival and Mitochondrial Function in Human Dopaminergic Neurons

PloS One. Jun, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18560593

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common age-related neurodegenerative disease and it is critical to develop models which recapitulate the pathogenic process including the effect of the ageing process. Although the pathogenesis of sporadic PD is unknown, the identification of the mendelian genetic factor PINK1 has provided new mechanistic insights. In order to investigate the role of PINK1 in Parkinson's disease, we studied PINK1 loss of function in human and primary mouse neurons. Using RNAi, we created stable PINK1 knockdown in human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from foetal ventral mesencephalon stem cells, as well as in an immortalised human neuroblastoma cell line. We sought to validate our findings in primary neurons derived from a transgenic PINK1 knockout mouse. For the first time we demonstrate an age dependent neurodegenerative phenotype in human and mouse neurons. PINK1 deficiency leads to reduced long-term viability in human neurons, which die via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Human neurons lacking PINK1 demonstrate features of marked oxidative stress with widespread mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial morphology. We report that PINK1 plays a neuroprotective role in the mitochondria of mammalian neurons, especially against stress such as staurosporine. In addition we provide evidence that cellular compensatory mechanisms such as mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of lysosomal degradation pathways occur in PINK1 deficiency. The phenotypic effects of PINK1 loss-of-function described here in mammalian neurons provides mechanistic insight into the age-related degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons seen in PD.

Regulation of Mitochondrial Structure and Function by the F1Fo-ATPase Inhibitor Protein, IF1

Cell Metabolism. Jul, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18590689

When mitochondrial respiration is compromised, the F(1)F(o)-ATP synthase reverses and consumes ATP, serving to maintain the mitochondrial membrane potential (Delta psi(m)). This process is mitigated by IF(1). As little is known of the cell biology of IF(1), we have investigated the functional consequences of varying IF(1) expression. We report that, (1) during inhibition of respiration, IF(1) conserves ATP at the expense of Delta psi(m); (2) overexpression of IF(1) is protective against ischemic injury; (3) relative IF(1) expression level varies between tissues and cell types and dictates the response to inhibition of mitochondrial respiration; (4) the density of mitochondrial cristae is increased by IF(1) overexpression and decreased by IF(1) suppression; and (5) IF(1) overexpression increases the formation of dimeric ATP synthase complexes and increases F(1)F(o)-ATP synthase activity. Thus, IF(1) regulates mitochondrial function and structure under both physiological and pathological conditions.

Expression of Mutant SOD1 in Astrocytes Induces Functional Deficits in Motoneuron Mitochondria

Journal of Neurochemistry. Dec, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18808448

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motoneuron degeneration resulting in paralysis and eventual death. ALS is regarded as a motoneuron-specific disorder but increasing evidence indicates non-neuronal cells play a significant role in disease pathogenesis. Although the precise aetiology of ALS remains unclear, mutations in the superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene are known to account for approximately 20% of familial ALS. We examined the influence of SOD1(G93A) expression in astrocytes on mitochondrial homeostasis in motoneurons in a primary astrocyte : motoneuron co-culture model. SOD1(G93A) expression in astrocytes induced changes in mitochondrial function of both SOD1(G93A) and wild-type motoneurons. In the presence of SOD1(G93A) astrocytes, mitochondrial redox state of both wild-type and SOD1(G93A) motoneurons was more reduced and mitochondrial membrane potential decreased. While intra-mitochondrial calcium levels [Ca(2+)](m) were elevated in SOD1(G93A) motoneurons, changes in mitochondrial function did not correlate with [Ca(2+)](m). Thus, expression of SOD1(G93A) in astrocytes directly alters mitochondrial function even in embryonic motoneurons, irrespective of genotype. These early deficits in mitochondrial function induced by surrounding astrocytes may increase the vulnerability of motoneurons to other neurotoxic mechanisms involved in ALS pathogenesis.

CLIC1 Function is Required for Beta-amyloid-induced Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species by Microglia

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18987185

The Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain is characterized by plaques containing beta-amyloid (Abeta) protein surrounded by astrocytes and reactive microglia. Activation of microglia by Abeta initiates production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by the plasmalemmal NADPH oxidase; the resultant oxidative stress is thought to contribute to neurodegeneration in AD. We have previously shown that Abeta upregulates a chloride current mediated by the chloride intracellular channel 1 (CLIC1) protein in microglia. We now demonstrate that Abeta promotes the acute translocation of CLIC1 from the cytosol to the plasma membrane of microglia, where it mediates a chloride conductance. Both the Abeta induced Cl(-) conductance and ROS generation were prevented by pharmacological inhibition of CLIC1, by replacement of chloride with impermeant anions, by an anti-CLIC1 antibody and by suppression of CLIC1 expression using siRNA. Thus, the CLIC1-mediated Cl(-) conductance is required for Abeta-induced generation of neurotoxic ROS by microglia. Remarkably, CLIC1 activation is itself dependent on oxidation by ROS derived from the activated NADPH oxidase. We therefore propose that CLIC1 translocation from the cytosol to the plasma membrane, in response to redox modulation by NADPH oxidase-derived ROS, provides a feedforward mechanism that facilitates sustained microglial ROS generation by the NAPDH oxidase.

Deletion of the Von Hippel-Lindau Gene in Pancreatic Beta Cells Impairs Glucose Homeostasis in Mice

The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Jan, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19065050

Defective insulin secretion in response to glucose is an important component of the beta cell dysfunction seen in type 2 diabetes. As mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation plays a key role in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), oxygen-sensing pathways may modulate insulin release. The von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein controls the degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) to coordinate cellular and organismal responses to altered oxygenation. To determine the role of this pathway in controlling glucose-stimulated insulin release from pancreatic beta cells, we generated mice lacking Vhl in pancreatic beta cells (betaVhlKO mice) and mice lacking Vhl in the pancreas (PVhlKO mice). Both mouse strains developed glucose intolerance with impaired insulin secretion. Furthermore, deletion of Vhl in beta cells or the pancreas altered expression of genes involved in beta cell function, including those involved in glucose transport and glycolysis, and isolated betaVhlKO and PVhlKO islets displayed impaired glucose uptake and defective glucose metabolism. The abnormal glucose homeostasis was dependent on upregulation of Hif-1alpha expression, and deletion of Hif1a in Vhl-deficient beta cells restored GSIS. Consistent with this, expression of activated Hif-1alpha in a mouse beta cell line impaired GSIS. These data suggest that VHL/HIF oxygen-sensing mechanisms play a critical role in glucose homeostasis and that activation of this pathway in response to decreased islet oxygenation may contribute to beta cell dysfunction.

IF1, the Endogenous Regulator of the F(1)F(o)-ATPsynthase, Defines Mitochondrial Volume Fraction in HeLa Cells by Regulating Autophagy

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. May, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19269273

The protein IF1 limits mitochondrial ATP consumption when mitochondrial respiration is impaired by inhibiting the 'reverse' activity of the F(1)F(o)-ATPsynthase. We have found that IF1 also increases F(1)F(o)-ATPsynthase activity in respiring mitochondria, promoting its dimerization and increasing the density of mitochondrial cristae. We also noted that IF1 overexpression was associated with an increase in mitochondrial volume fraction that was conversely reduced when IF1 was knocked down using small interfering RNA (siRNA). The volume change did not correlate with the level of transcription factors involved in mitochondrial biogenesis. However, autophagy was dramatically increased in the IF1siRNA treated cells (-IF1), assessed by quantifying LC3-GFP translocation to autophagosomes, whilst levels of autophagy were low in IF1 overexpressing cells (+IF1). The increase in LC3-GFP labelled autophagosomes in -IF1 cells was prevented by the superoxide dismutase mimetic, manganese (III) tetrakis (4-benzoic acid) porphyrin (MnTBAP). An increase in the basal rate of generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in -IF1 cells was demonstrated using the fluorescent probe dihydroethidium (DHE). Thus, IF1 appears to limit mitochondrial ROS generation, limiting autophagy which is increased by IF1 knockdown. Variations in IF1 expression level may therefore play a significant role in defining both resting rates of ROS generation and cellular mitochondrial content.

PINK1-associated Parkinson's Disease is Caused by Neuronal Vulnerability to Calcium-induced Cell Death

Molecular Cell. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19285945

Mutations in PINK1 cause autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease. PINK1 is a mitochondrial kinase of unknown function. We investigated calcium homeostasis and mitochondrial function in PINK1-deficient mammalian neurons. We demonstrate physiologically that PINK1 regulates calcium efflux from the mitochondria via the mitochondrial Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger. PINK1 deficiency causes mitochondrial accumulation of calcium, resulting in mitochondrial calcium overload. We show that calcium overload stimulates reactive oxygen species (ROS) production via NADPH oxidase. ROS production inhibits the glucose transporter, reducing substrate delivery and causing impaired respiration. We demonstrate that impaired respiration may be restored by provision of mitochondrial complex I and II substrates. Taken together, reduced mitochondrial calcium capacity and increased ROS lower the threshold of opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) such that physiological calcium stimuli become sufficient to induce mPTP opening in PINK1-deficient cells. Our findings propose a mechanism by which PINK1 dysfunction renders neurons vulnerable to cell death.

Mitochondria Mediated Cell Death in Diabetes

Apoptosis : an International Journal on Programmed Cell Death. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19466549

Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of diseases that involve disordered cellular fuel metabolism and survival/death pathways, including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and diabetes. Cytokine, virus recognition and cellular stress pathways converging on mitochondria cause apoptotic and/or necrotic cell death of beta-cells in type-1 diabetes. Moreover, since mitochondria generate crucial metabolic signals for glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), mitochondrial dysfunction underlies both the functional derangement of GSIS and (over-nutrition) stress-induced apoptotic/necrotic beta-cell death, hallmarks of type-2 diabetes. The apparently distinct mechanisms governing beta-cell life/death decisions during the development of diabetes provide a remarkable example where remote metabolic, immune and stress signalling meet with mitochondria mediated apoptotic/necrotic death pathways to determine the fate of the beta-cell. We summarize the main findings supporting such a pivotal role of mitochondria in beta-cell death in the context of current trends in diabetes research.

Multiphoton Imaging Reveals Differences in Mitochondrial Function Between Nephron Segments

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. Jun, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19470684

Mitochondrial dysfunction may play a role in the pathogenesis of several renal diseases. Although functional roles and metabolic demands differ among tubule segments, relatively little is known about the properties of mitochondria in different parts of the nephron. Clinically, the proximal tubule seems particularly vulnerable to mitochondrial toxicity. In this study, we used multiphoton imaging of live rat kidney slices to investigate differences in mitochondrial function along the nephron. The mitochondrial membrane potential was markedly higher in distal than proximal tubules. Inhibition of respiration rapidly collapsed the membrane potential in proximal tubules, but potential was better maintained in distal tubules. Inhibition of the F1F(o)-ATPase abolished this difference, suggesting that maintenance of potential via ATPase activity is more effective in distal than proximal tubules. Immunostaining revealed that the ratio of the expression of ATPase to IF1, an endogenous inhibitor of the mitochondrial ATPase, was lower in proximal tubules than in distal tubules. Production of reactive oxygen species was higher in proximal than distal cells, but inhibition of NADPH oxidase eliminated this difference. Glutathione levels were higher in proximal tubules. Overall, mitochondria in the proximal tubules were in a more oxidized state than those in the distal tubules. In summary, there are axial differences in mitochondrial function along the nephron, which may contribute to the pattern and pathophysiology of some forms of renal injury.

IF(1): Setting the Pace of the F(1)F(o)-ATP Synthase

Trends in Biochemical Sciences. Jul, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19559621

When mitochondrial function is compromised and the mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsi(m)) falls below a threshold, the F(1)F(o)-ATP synthase can reverse, hydrolysing ATP to pump protons out of the mitochondrial matrix. Although this activity can deplete ATP and precipitate cell death, it is limited by the mitochondrial protein IF(1), an endogenous F(1)F(o)-ATPase inhibitor. IF(1), therefore, preserves ATP at the expense of Deltapsi(m). Despite a wealth of detailed knowledge on the biochemistry of the interaction of IF(1) and the F(1)F(o)-ATPase, little is known about its physiological activity. Emerging research suggests that IF(1) has a wider ranging impact on mitochondrial structure and function than previously thought.

Mitochondria Modulate the Spatio-temporal Properties of Intra- and Intercellular Ca2+ Signals in Cochlear Supporting Cells

Cell Calcium. Aug, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19631380

In the cochlea, cell damage triggers intercellular Ca2+ waves that propagate through the glial-like supporting cells that surround receptor hair cells. These Ca2+ waves are thought to convey information about sensory hair cell-damage to the surrounding supporting cells within the cochlear epithelium. Mitochondria are key regulators of cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+](cyt)), and yet little is known about their role during the propagation of such intercellular Ca2+ signalling. Using neonatal rat cochlear explants and fluorescence imaging techniques, we explore how mitochondria modulate supporting cell [Ca2+](cyt) signals that are triggered by ATP or by hair cell damage. ATP application (0.1-50 microM) caused a dose dependent increase in [Ca2+](cyt) which was accompanied by an increase in mitochondrial calcium. Blocking mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake by dissipating the mitochondrial membrane potential using CCCP and oligomycin or using Ru360, an inhibitor of the mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter, enhanced the peak amplitude and duration of ATP-induced [Ca2+](cyt) transients. In the presence of Ru360, the mean propagation velocity, amplitude and extent of spread of damage-induced intercellular Ca2+ waves was significantly increased. Thus, mitochondria function as spatial Ca2+ buffers during agonist-evoked [Ca2+](cyt) signalling in cochlear supporting cells and play a significant role in regulating the spatio-temporal properties of intercellular Ca2+ waves.

Extracellular Growth Factors and Mitogens Cooperate to Drive Mitochondrial Biogenesis

Journal of Cell Science. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19920079

Cells generate new organelles when stimulated by extracellular factors to grow and divide; however, little is known about how growth and mitogenic signalling pathways regulate organelle biogenesis. Using mitochondria as a model organelle, we have investigated this problem in primary Schwann cells, for which distinct factors act solely as mitogens (neuregulin) or as promoters of cell growth (insulin-like growth factor 1; IGF1). We find that neuregulin and IGF1 act synergistically to increase mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial DNA replication, resulting in increased mitochondrial density in these cells. Moreover, constitutive oncogenic Ras signalling results in a further increase in mitochondrial density. This synergistic effect is seen at the global transcriptional level, requires both the ERK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signalling pathways and is mediated by the transcription factor ERRalpha. Interestingly, the effect is independent of Akt-TOR signalling, a major regulator of cell growth in these cells. This separation of the pathways that drive mitochondrial biogenesis and cell growth provides a mechanism for the modulation of mitochondrial density according to the metabolic requirements of the cell.

Impaired Mitochondrial Bioenergetics Determines Glutamate-induced Delayed Calcium Deregulation in Neurons

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Mar, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 19695307

Accumulation of glutamate in ischaemic CNS is thought to amplify neuronal death during a stroke. Exposure of neurons to toxic glutamate concentrations causes an initial transient increase in [Ca(2+)](c) followed by a delayed increase commonly termed delayed [Ca(2+)](c) deregulation (DCD).

Mechanism of Neurodegeneration of Neurons with Mitochondrial DNA Mutations

Brain : a Journal of Neurology. Mar, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20157008

Mutations of mitochondrial DNA are associated with a wide spectrum of disorders, primarily affecting the central nervous system and muscle function. The specific consequences of mitochondrial DNA mutations for neuronal pathophysiology are not understood. In order to explore the impact of mitochondrial mutations on neuronal biochemistry and physiology, we have used fluorescence imaging techniques to examine changes in mitochondrial function in neurons differentiated from mouse embryonic stem-cell cybrids containing mitochondrial DNA polymorphic variants or mutations. Surprisingly, in neurons carrying a severe mutation in respiratory complex I (<10% residual complex I activity) the mitochondrial membrane potential was significantly increased, but collapsed in response to oligomycin, suggesting that the mitochondrial membrane potential was maintained by the F(1)F(o) ATPase operating in 'reverse' mode. In cells with a mutation in complex IV causing approximately 40% residual complex IV activity, the mitochondrial membrane potential was not significantly different from controls. The rate of generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, measured using hydroethidium and signals from the mitochondrially targeted hydroethidine, was increased in neurons with both the complex I and complex IV mutations. Glutathione was depleted, suggesting significant oxidative stress in neurons with a complex I deficiency, but not in those with a complex IV defect. In the neurons with complex I deficiency but not the complex IV defect, neuronal death was increased and was attenuated by reactive oxygen species scavengers. Thus, in neurons with a severe mutation of complex I, the maintenance of a high potential by F(1)F(o) ATPase activity combined with an impaired respiratory chain causes oxidative stress which promotes cell death.

The Intracellular Localization and Function of the ATP-sensitive K+ Channel Subunit Kir6.1

The Journal of Membrane Biology. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20306027

Our aim was to determine the subcellular localization and functional roles of the K(ATP) channel subunit Kir6.1 in intracellular membranes. Specifically, we focused on the potential role of Kir6.1 as a subunit of the mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K+ channel. Cell imaging showed that a major proportion of heterologously expressed Kir6.1-GFP and endogenously expressed Kir6.1 was distributed in the endoplasmic reticulum with little in the mitochondria or plasma membrane. We used pharmacological and molecular tools to investigate the functional significance of this distribution. The K(ATP) channel opener diazoxide increased reactive oxygen species production, and glibenclamide abolished this effect. However, in cells lacking Kir6.1 or expressing siRNA or dominant negative constructs of Kir6.1, the same effect was seen. Ca2+ handling was examined in the muscle cell line C2C12. Transfection of the dominant negative constructs of Kir6.1 significantly reduced the amplitude and rate of rise of [Ca2+]( c ) transients elicited by ATP. This study suggests that Kir6.1 is located in the endoplasmic reticulum and plays a role in modifying Ca2+ release from intracellular stores.

The Legs at Odd Angles (Loa) Mutation in Cytoplasmic Dynein Ameliorates Mitochondrial Function in SOD1G93A Mouse Model for Motor Neuron Disease

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Jun, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20382740

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a debilitating and fatal late-onset neurodegenerative disease. Familial cases of ALS (FALS) constitute approximately 10% of all ALS cases, and mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is found in 15-20% of FALS. SOD1 mutations confer a toxic gain of unknown function to the protein that specifically targets the motor neurons in the cortex and the spinal cord. We have previously shown that the autosomal dominant Legs at odd angles (Loa) mutation in cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain (Dync1h1) delays disease onset and extends the life span of transgenic mice harboring human mutant SOD1(G93A). In this study we provide evidence that despite the lack of direct interactions between mutant SOD1 and either mutant or wild-type cytoplasmic dynein, the Loa mutation confers significant reductions in the amount of mutant SOD1 protein in the mitochondrial matrix. Moreover, we show that the Loa mutation ameliorates defects in mitochondrial respiration and membrane potential observed in SOD1(G93A) motor neuron mitochondria. These data suggest that the Loa mutation reduces the vulnerability of mitochondria to the toxic effects of mutant SOD1, leading to improved mitochondrial function in SOD1(G93A) motor neurons.

Chloride Intracellular Channel 1 (CLIC1): Sensor and Effector During Oxidative Stress

FEBS Letters. May, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20385134

Oxidative stress, characterized by overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), is a major feature of several pathological states. Indeed, many cancers and neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by altered redox balance, which results from dysregulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. In this review, we consider the role of the intracellular chloride channel 1 (CLIC1) in microglial cells during oxidative stress. Following microglial activation, CLIC1 translocates from the cytosol to the plasma membrane where it promotes a chloride conductance. The resultant anionic current balances the excess charge extruded by the active NADPH oxidase, supporting the generation of superoxide by the enzyme. In this scenario, CLIC1 could be considered to act as both a second messenger and an executor.

Maternal Diet-induced Obesity Alters Mitochondrial Activity and Redox Status in Mouse Oocytes and Zygotes

PloS One. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20404917

The negative impact of obesity on reproductive success is well documented but the stages at which development of the conceptus is compromised and the mechanisms responsible for the developmental failure still remain unclear. Recent findings suggest that mitochondria may be a contributing factor. However to date no studies have directly addressed the consequences of maternal obesity on mitochondria in early embryogenesis.Using an established murine model of maternal diet induced obesity and a live cell dynamic fluorescence imaging techniques coupled with molecular biology we have investigated the underlying mechanisms of obesity-induced reduced fertility. Our study is the first to show that maternal obesity prior to conception is associated with altered mitochondria in mouse oocytes and zygotes. Specifically, maternal diet-induced obesity in mice led to an increase in mitochondrial potential, mitochondrial DNA content and biogenesis. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was raised while glutathione was depleted and the redox state became more oxidised, suggestive of oxidative stress. These altered mitochondrial properties were associated with significant developmental impairment as shown by the increased number of obese mothers who failed to support blastocyst formation compared to lean dams. We propose that compromised oocyte and early embryo mitochondrial metabolism, resulting from excessive nutrient exposure prior to and during conception, may underlie poor reproductive outcomes frequently reported in obese women.

Roles of Mitochondria in Human Disease

Essays in Biochemistry. 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20533904

The chapters throughout this volume illustrate the many contributions of mitochondria to the maintenance of normal cell and tissue function, experienced as the health of the individual. Mitochondria are essential for maintaining aspects of physiology as fundamental as cellular energy balance, the modulation of calcium signalling, in defining cellular redox balance, and they house significant biosynthetic pathways. Mitochondrial numbers and volume within cells are regulated and have an impact on their functional roles, while, especially in the CNS (central nervous system), mitochondrial trafficking is critical to ensure the cellular distribution and strategic localization of mitochondria, presumably driven by local energy demand. Maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial population involves a complex system of quality control, involving degrading misfolded proteins, while damaged mitochondria are renewed by fusion or removed by autophagy. It seems evident that mechanisms that impair any of these processes will impair mitochondrial function and cell signalling pathways, leading to disordered cell function which manifests as disease. As gatekeepers of cell life and cell death, mitochondria regulate both apoptotic and necrotic cell death, and so at its most extreme, disturbances involving these pathways may trigger untimely cell death. Conversely, the lack of appropriate cell death can lead to inappropriate tissue growth and development of tumours, which are also characterized by altered mitochondrial metabolism. The centrality of mitochondrial dysfunction to a surprisingly wide range of major human diseases is slowly becoming recognized, bringing with it the prospect of novel therapeutic approaches to treat a multitude of unpleasant and pervasive diseases.

Membrane Cholesterol Content Plays a Key Role in the Neurotoxicity of β-amyloid: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease

Aging Cell. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21332922

Beta amyloid (βA) plays a central role in the pathogenesis of the most common and devastating neurodegenerative disorder, Alzheimer's disease (AD). The mechanisms of βA neurotoxicity remain controversial, but include dysregulation of calcium homeostasis and oxidative stress. A large body of data suggest that cholesterol plays a significant role in AD. In mixed cultures containing hippocampal neurons and astrocytes, we have shown that neurotoxic βA peptides (1-42 and 25-35) cause sporadic cytosolic calcium ([Ca(2+) ](c) ) signals in astrocytes but not in neurons, initiating a cascade that ends in neuronal death. We now show, using the cholesterol-sensitive fluorescent probe, Filipin, that membrane cholesterol is significantly higher in astrocytes than in neurons and mediates the selective response of astrocytes to βA. Thus, lowering [cholesterol] using mevastatin, methyl-β-cyclodextrin or filipin prevented the βA-induced [Ca(2+) ](c) signals, while increased membrane [cholesterol] increased βA-induced [Ca(2+) ](c) signals in both neurons and astrocytes. Addition of βA to lipid bilayers caused the appearance of a conductance that was significantly higher in membranes containing cholesterol. Increasing membrane [cholesterol] significantly increased βA-induced neuronal and astrocytic death. We conclude that a high membrane [cholesterol] promotes βA incorporation into membranes and increased [Ca(2+) ](c) leading to cell death.

Beta-amyloid Activates PARP Causing Astrocytic Metabolic Failure and Neuronal Death

Brain : a Journal of Neurology. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21616968

Alzheimer's disease is characterized by β-amyloid accumulation in the central nervous system. As β-amyloid is neurotoxic in culture, we have explored the mechanisms of toxicity in the search for therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's disease and now identify a key role for poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in β-amyloid-induced neuronal death. Exposure of hippocampal neuronal/glial co-cultures to β-amyloid peptides activates the glial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase, followed by predominantly neuronal cell death. β-amyloid exposure caused the progressive loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in astrocytes, accompanied by transient mitochondrial depolarizations caused by reversible openings of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore. The transients were absent in cultures from cyclophilin D knockout mice, leaving the slow depolarization available for study in isolation. β-amyloid exposure decreased both nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide fluorescence and oxygen consumption, while provision of mitochondrial substrates reversed the depolarization, suggesting that substrate supply was limiting. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase is activated by oxidative stress and consumes nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, decreasing substrate availability. β-amyloid exposure caused accumulation of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase product, poly-ADP-ribose polymers, in astrocytes. Inhibition of either poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase or of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase prevented the appearance of poly-ADP-ribose polymers and the mitochondrial depolarization. Exposure of co-cultures to β-amyloid for >8 h decreased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and mitochondrial membrane potential and increased cell death in neurons, all of which were prevented by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors. Poly-ADP-ribose polymers increased with age in the brains of the TASTPM Alzheimer mouse model. We conclude that β-amyloid-induced neuronal death is mediated by poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in response to oxidative stress generated by the astrocytic nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase.

Multiphoton Imaging of the Functioning Kidney

Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21719788

Translating discoveries made in isolated renal cells and tubules to the in vivo situation requires the assessment of cellular function in intact live organs. Multiphoton imaging is a form of fluorescence microscopy that is ideally suited to working with whole tissues and organs, but adequately loading cells with fluorescence dyes in vivo remains a challenge. We found that recirculation of fluorescence dyes in the rat isolated perfused kidney (IPK) resulted in levels of intracellular loading that would be difficult to achieve in vivo. This technique allowed the imaging of tubular cell structure and function with multiphoton microscopy in an intact, functioning organ. We used this approach to follow processes in real time, including (1) relative rates of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in different tubule types, (2) filtration and tubular uptake of low-molecular-weight dextrans and proteins, and (3) the effects of ischemia-reperfusion injury on mitochondrial function and cell structure. This study demonstrates that multiphoton microscopy of the isolated perfused kidney is a powerful technique for detailed imaging of cell structure and function in an intact organ.

Measurements of Threshold of Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Opening in Intact and Permeabilized Cells by Flash Photolysis of Caged Calcium

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21913108

Changes in intracellular calcium concentration play a major role both in signal transduction and in cell death. In particular, mitochondrial Ca2+ overload is critically important as a determinant of irreversible cell injury. When accumulated above a threshold, matrix Ca2+ triggers opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), initiating ATP depletion and cell death via necrosis or by promoting cytochrome c release and initiating the apoptotic cascade. Measurement of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake capacity (or the threshold for mPTP opening) is, therefore, important for understanding the mechanisms of pathophysiology in a variety of disease models and also for testing neuro- or cardioprotective drugs. We have, therefore, devised an approach that delivers Ca2+ directly to the matrix of mitochondria independently of uptake and therefore independently of potential (Δψm) that allows direct study both of the Ca2+ efflux pathway and of the specific sensitivity of mPTP to Ca2+. This is achieved using the photolytic release of Ca2+ by flash photolysis of caged Ca2+ using compounds, such as o-nitrophenyl EGTA, introduced into the cell as the acetoxymethyl (AM) ester (NP-EGTA, AM). This method can be used in both intact and permeabilized cells.

Imaging Mitochondrial Calcium Signalling with Fluorescent Probes and Single or Two Photon Confocal Microscopy

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22057570

The concentration of calcium ions in the mitochondria has a profound impact on mitochondrial function, modulating respiratory activity at physiological concentrations, while causing lethal damage during calcium overload. The "rhod" series of calcium sensitive fluorescent dyes tend to accumulate preferentially in mitochondria, although the reliability of mitochondrial calcium measurements depends critically on the partitioning of dye within the mitochondria which can vary between preparations. Methods are described to aid verification and quantification of the mitochondrial calcium concentration using single or two photon confocal microscopy and combining the imaging with another cytosolic calcium sensing dye. The method of linear unmixing to separate fluorescent signals based on either differing excitation or emission spectra is outlined and for the purposes of illustration is applied to the separation of rhod-2 signals originating from dye within the mitochondrial and nucleoli.

Slow Calcium Waves and Redox Changes Precede Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Opening in the Intact Heart During Hypoxia and Reoxygenation

Cardiovascular Research. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22198507

Opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) is an important step on the pathway towards cardiomyocyte death, defining the extent of injury following cardiac ischaemia and reperfusion. In isolated mitochondria, mPTP opening is triggered by calcium overload facilitated by oxidative stress. In isolated cells, however, it has been suggested that mPTP opening occurs before calcium overload and is stimulated by oxidative stress. Our objective was to establish the events that cause mPTP opening in the intact heart.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Purkinje Cell Loss in Autosomal Recessive Spastic Ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS)

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22307627

Autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS) is a childhood-onset neurological disease resulting from mutations in the SACS gene encoding sacsin, a 4,579-aa protein of unknown function. Originally identified as a founder disease in Québec, ARSACS is now recognized worldwide. Prominent features include pyramidal spasticity and cerebellar ataxia, but the underlying pathology and pathophysiological mechanisms are unknown. We have generated an animal model for ARSACS, sacsin knockout mice, that display age-dependent neurodegeneration of cerebellar Purkinje cells. To explore the pathophysiological basis for this observation, we examined the cell biological properties of sacsin. We show that sacsin localizes to mitochondria in non-neuronal cells and primary neurons and that it interacts with dynamin-related protein 1, which participates in mitochondrial fission. Fibroblasts from ARSACS patients show a hyperfused mitochondrial network, consistent with defects in mitochondrial fission. Sacsin knockdown leads to an overly interconnected and functionally impaired mitochondrial network, and mitochondria accumulate in the soma and proximal dendrites of sacsin knockdown neurons. Disruption of mitochondrial transport into dendrites has been shown to lead to abnormal dendritic morphology, and we observe striking alterations in the organization of dendritic fields in the cerebellum of knockout mice that precedes Purkinje cell death. Our data identifies mitochondrial dysfunction/mislocalization as the likely cellular basis for ARSACS and indicates a role for sacsin in regulation of mitochondrial dynamics.

Mitochondria, Calcium-dependent Neuronal Death and Neurodegenerative Disease

Pflugers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22615071

Understanding the mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction and death represents a major frontier in contemporary medicine, involving the acute cell death in stroke, and the attrition of the major neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Motoneuron diseases. A growing body of evidence implicates mitochondrial dysfunction as a key step in the pathogenesis of all these diseases, with the promise that mitochondrial processes represent valuable potential therapeutic targets. Each disease is characterised by the loss of a specific vulnerable population of cells--dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease, spinal motoneurons in Motoneuron disease, for example. We discuss the possible roles of cell type-specific calcium signalling mechanisms in defining the pathological phenotype of each of these major diseases and review central mechanisms of calcium-dependent mitochondrial-mediated cell death.

Dopamine Induced Neurodegeneration in a PINK1 Model of Parkinson's Disease

PloS One. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22662171

Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disease characterised by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons, leading to dopamine depletion in the striatum. Mutations in the PINK1 gene cause an autosomal recessive form of Parkinson's disease. Loss of PINK1 function causes mitochondrial dysfunction, increased reactive oxygen species production and calcium dysregulation, which increases susceptibility to neuronal death in Parkinson's disease. The basis of neuronal vulnerability to dopamine in Parkinson's disease is not well understood.

G2019S Leucine-rich Repeat Kinase 2 Causes Uncoupling Protein-mediated Mitochondrial Depolarization

Human Molecular Genetics. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22736029

The G2019S leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) mutation is the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD), clinically and pathologically indistinguishable from idiopathic PD. Mitochondrial abnormalities are a common feature in PD pathogenesis and we have investigated the impact of G2019S mutant LRRK2 expression on mitochondrial bioenergetics. LRRK2 protein expression was detected in fibroblasts and lymphoblasts at levels higher than those observed in the mouse brain. The presence of G2019S LRRK2 mutation did not influence LRRK2 expression in fibroblasts. However, the expression of the G2019S LRRK2 mutation in both fibroblast and neuroblastoma cells was associated with mitochondrial uncoupling. This was characterized by decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and increased oxygen utilization under basal and oligomycin-inhibited conditions. This resulted in a decrease in cellular ATP levels consistent with compromised cellular function. This uncoupling of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation was associated with a cell-specific increase in uncoupling protein (UCP) 2 and 4 expression. Restoration of mitochondrial membrane potential by the UCP inhibitor genipin confirmed the role of UCPs in this mechanism. The G2019S LRRK2-induced mitochondrial uncoupling and UCP4 mRNA up-regulation were LRRK2 kinase-dependent, whereas endogenous LRRK2 levels were required for constitutive UCP expression. We propose that normal mitochondrial function was deregulated by the expression of G2019S LRRK2 in a kinase-dependent mechanism that is a modification of the normal LRRK2 function, and this leads to the vulnerability of selected neuronal populations in PD.

Mitochondrial 'flashes': a Radical Concept RepHined

Trends in Cell Biology. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22917552

Mitochondrial free radicals and redox poise are central to metabolism and cell fate. Their measurement in living cells remains a major challenge and their in vivo dynamics are poorly understood. Reports of 'superoxide flashes' in single mitochondria have therefore been perceived as a major breakthrough: single mitochondria expressing the genetically encoded sensor circularly permuted yellow fluorescent protein (cpYFP) display spontaneous flashes of fluorescence that are responsive to metabolic changes and stressors. We critically review the evidence that underpins the interpretation of mitochondrial cpYFP flashes as bursts of superoxide production and conclude that flashes do not represent superoxide bursts but instead are caused by transient alkalinisation of the mitochondrial matrix. We provide a revised framework that will help to clarify the interpretation of mitochondrial flashes.

Mild Stress of Caffeine Increased MtDNA Content in Skeletal Muscle Cells: the Interplay Between Ca2+ Transients and Nitric Oxide

Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility. Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22926241

Caffeine increases mitochondrial biogenesis in myotubes by evoking Ca(2+) transients. Nitric oxide (NO) also induces mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle cells via upregulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity and PGC-1α. However, the interplay and timing sequence between Ca(2+) transients and NO releases remain unclear. Herein, we tested the hypothesis that caffeine-evoked Ca(2+) transients triggered NO production to increase mtDNA in skeletal muscle cells. Ca(2+) transients were recorded with Fura-2 AM and confocal microscopy; mtDNA staining, mitochondrial membrane potential and NO level were determined using fluorescent probes PicoGreen, tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM) and DAF-FM, respectively. In primary cultured myotubes, a subtle and moderate stress of caffeine increased mtDNA exclusively. Mitochondrial membrane potential and mtDNA were increased by 1 mM as well as 5 mM caffeine, whereas 10 mM caffeine did not change the fluorescence intensity of PicoGreen and TMRM. NO level in myocytes increased gradually following the first jump of Ca(2+) transients evoked by caffeine (5 mM) till the end of recording, when Fura-2 indicated that Ca(2+) transients recovered partly and even disappeared. Importantly, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor (L-NAME) suppressed caffeine-induced mtDNA biogenesis, whereas NO donor (DETA-NO) increased mtDNA content. These data strongly suggest that caffeine-induced mtDNA biogenesis is dose-sensitive and dependent on a certain level of stress. Further, an increasing level of NO following Ca(2+) transients is required for caffeine-induced mtDNA biogenesis. Additionally, Ca(2+) transients, a usual and first response to caffeine, was either suppressed or attenuated by L-NAME, DETA-NO, AICAR and U0126, suggesting an inability to control [Ca(2+)](i) in these treated cells. There may be an important interplay between NO and Ca(2+) transients in intracellular signaling system involving NOS, AMPK and MEK.

Activation of PARP by Oxidative Stress Induced by β-amyloid: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease

Neurochemical Research. Nov, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23076628

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a major neurodegenerative disease of old age, characterised by progressive cognitive impairment, dementia and atrophy of the central nervous system. The pathological hallmarks include the accumulation of the peptide β-amyloid (Aβ) which itself is toxic to neurons in culture. Recently, it has been discovered that Aβ activates the protein poly(ADP-ribosyl) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) specifically in astrocytes, leading indirectly to neuronal cell death. PARP-1 is a DNA repair enzyme, normally activated by single strand breaks associated with oxidative stress, which catalyses the formation of poly ADP-ribose polymers from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)). The pathological over activation of PARP-1 causes depletion of NAD(+) and leads to cell death. Here we review the relationship between AD and PARP-1, and explore the role played by astrocytes in neuronal death. AD has so far proven refractory to any effective treatment. Identification of these pathways represents a step towards a greater understanding of the pathophysiology of this devastating disease with the potential to explore novel therapeutic targets.

Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Mitochondrial Function

Best Practice & Research. Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Dec, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 23168274

Mitochondria are membrane bound organelles present in almost all eukaryotic cells. Responsible for orchestrating cellular energy production, they are central to the maintenance of life and the gatekeepers of cell death. Thought to have originated from symbiotic ancestors, they carry a residual genome as mtDNA encoding 13 proteins essential for respiratory chain function. Mitochondria comprise an inner and outer membrane that separate and maintain the aqueous regions, the intermembrane space and the matrix. Mitochondria contribute to many processes central to cellular function and dysfunction including calcium signalling, cell growth and differentiation, cell cycle control and cell death. Mitochondrial shape and positioning in cells is crucial and is tightly regulated by processes of fission and fusion, biogenesis and autophagy, ensuring a relatively constant mitochondrial population. Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in metabolic and age related disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and ischemic injury in heart and brain.

Regulation of Mitochondrial Morphogenesis by Annexin A6

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23341998

Mitochondrial homeostasis is critical in meeting cellular energy demands, shaping calcium signals and determining susceptibility to apoptosis. Here we report a role for anxA6 in the regulation of mitochondrial morphogenesis, and show that in cells lacking anxA6 mitochondria are fragmented, respiration is impaired and mitochondrial membrane potential is reduced. In fibroblasts from AnxA6(-/-) mice, mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake is reduced and cytosolic Ca(2+) transients are elevated. These observations led us to investigate possible interactions between anxA6 and proteins with roles in mitochondrial fusion and fission. We found that anxA6 associates with Drp1 and that mitochondrial fragmentation in AnxA6(-/-) fibroblasts was prevented by the Drp1 inhibitor mdivi-1. In normal cells elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) disrupted the interaction between anxA6 and Drp1, displacing anxA6 to the plasma membrane and promoting mitochondrial fission. Our results suggest that anxA6 inhibits Drp1 activity, and that Ca(2+)-binding to anxA6 relieves this inhibition to permit Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission.

Mitochondria and Quality Control Defects in a Mouse Model of Gaucher Disease--links to Parkinson's Disease

Cell Metabolism. Jun, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23707074

Mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (gba) gene cause Gaucher disease (GD), the most common lysosomal storage disorder, and increase susceptibility to Parkinson's disease (PD). While the clinical and pathological features of idiopathic PD and PD related to gba (PD-GBA) mutations are very similar, cellular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in each are unclear. Using a mouse model of neuronopathic GD, we show that autophagic machinery and proteasomal machinery are defective in neurons and astrocytes lacking gba. Markers of neurodegeneration--p62/SQSTM1, ubiquitinated proteins, and insoluble α-synuclein--accumulate. Mitochondria were dysfunctional and fragmented, with impaired respiration, reduced respiratory chain complex activities, and a decreased potential maintained by reversal of the ATP synthase. Thus a primary lysosomal defect causes accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria as a result of impaired autophagy and dysfunctional proteasomal pathways. These data provide conclusive evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction in GD and provide insight into the pathogenesis of PD and PD-GBA.

Mitochondrial IF₁ Preserves Cristae Structure to Limit Apoptotic Cell Death Signaling

Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.). Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23907134

Defective Quality Control Mechanisms and Accumulation of Damaged Mitochondria Link Gaucher and Parkinson Diseases

Autophagy. Oct, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23989665

Mutations in the GBA gene encoding glucocerebrosidase cause Gaucher disease (GD), the most prevalent of the lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) and increase susceptibility to Parkinson disease (PD). Clinically the two disorders can present in a similar manner with analogous pathological features, suggesting mechanistic links between the two disease states. An increasing body of evidence implicates defects in quality control pathways in both, and suggests that LSDs, as a group, can be classed as disorders of autophagy. Using a mouse model of type II neuronopathic GD, we observed global defects in cellular quality control pathways in midbrain neurons and astrocytes. Our data suggest that downregulation of autophagy, mitophagy, and the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) results in accumulation of dysfunctional and fragmented mitochondria, insoluble SNCA/α-synuclein deposits and ubiquitinated proteins. These observations show that dysfunction of cellular quality control pathways lead to impaired energy and free radical homeostasis, providing new insights into the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in GD and illuminating the links between GD and PD.

Sulforaphane Preconditioning of the Nrf2/HO-1 Defense Pathway Protects the Cerebral Vasculature Against Blood-brain Barrier Disruption and Neurological Deficits in Stroke

Free Radical Biology & Medicine. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24017972

Disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and cerebral edema are the major pathogenic mechanisms leading to neurological dysfunction and death after ischemic stroke. The brain protects itself against infarction via activation of endogenous antioxidant defense mechanisms, and we here report the first evidence that sulforaphane-mediated preactivation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its downstream target heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the cerebral vasculature protects the brain against stroke. To induce ischemic stroke, Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to 70 min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) followed by 4, 24, or 72 h reperfusion. Nrf2 and HO-1 protein expression was upregulated in cerebral microvessels of peri-infarct regions after 4-72 h, with HO-1 preferentially associated with perivascular astrocytes rather than the cerebrovascular endothelium. In naïve rats, treatment with sulforaphane increased Nrf2 expression in cerebral microvessels after 24h. Upregulation of Nrf2 by sulforaphane treatment prior to transient MCAo (1h) was associated with increased HO-1 expression in perivascular astrocytes in peri-infarct regions and cerebral endothelium in the infarct core. BBB disruption, lesion progression, as analyzed by MRI, and neurological deficits were reduced by sulforaphane pretreatment. As sulforaphane pretreatment led to a moderate increase in peroxynitrite generation, we suggest that hormetic preconditioning underlies sulforaphane-mediated protection against stroke. In conclusion, we propose that pharmacological or dietary interventions aimed to precondition the brain via activation of the Nrf2 defense pathway in the cerebral microvasculature provide a novel therapeutic approach for preventing BBB breakdown and neurological dysfunction in stroke.

Impulse Conduction Increases Mitochondrial Transport in Adult Mammalian Peripheral Nerves in Vivo

PLoS Biology. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24391474

Matching energy supply and demand is critical in the bioenergetic homeostasis of all cells. This is a special problem in neurons where high levels of energy expenditure may occur at sites remote from the cell body, given the remarkable length of axons and enormous variability of impulse activity over time. Positioning mitochondria at areas with high energy requirements is an essential solution to this problem, but it is not known how this is related to impulse conduction in vivo. Therefore, to study mitochondrial trafficking along resting and electrically active adult axons in vivo, confocal imaging of saphenous nerves in anaesthetised mice was combined with electrical and pharmacological stimulation of myelinated and unmyelinated axons, respectively. We show that low frequency activity induced by electrical stimulation significantly increases anterograde and retrograde mitochondrial traffic in comparison with silent axons. Higher frequency conduction within a physiological range (50 Hz) dramatically further increased anterograde, but not retrograde, mitochondrial traffic, by rapidly increasing the number of mobile mitochondria and gradually increasing their velocity. Similarly, topical application of capsaicin to skin innervated by the saphenous nerve increased mitochondrial traffic in both myelinated and unmyelinated axons. In addition, stationary mitochondria in axons conducting at higher frequency become shorter, thus supplying additional mitochondria to the trafficking population, presumably through enhanced fission. Mitochondria recruited to the mobile population do not accumulate near Nodes of Ranvier, but continue to travel anterogradely. This pattern of mitochondrial redistribution suggests that the peripheral terminals of sensory axons represent sites of particularly high metabolic demand during physiological high frequency conduction. As the majority of mitochondrial biogenesis occurs at the cell body, increased anterograde mitochondrial traffic may represent a mechanism that ensures a uniform increase in mitochondrial density along the length of axons during high impulse load, supporting the increased metabolic demand imposed by sustained conduction.

Mitochondrial Quality Control and Communications with the Nucleus Are Important in Maintaining Mitochondrial Function and Cell Health

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Apr, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24211250

The maintenance of cell metabolism and homeostasis is a fundamental characteristic of living organisms. In eukaryotes, mitochondria are the cornerstone of these life supporting processes, playing leading roles in a host of core cellular functions, including energy transduction, metabolic and calcium signalling, and supporting roles in a number of biosynthetic pathways. The possession of a discrete mitochondrial genome dictates that the maintenance of mitochondrial 'fitness' requires quality control mechanisms which involve close communication with the nucleus.

Unexpected Low-dose Toxicity of the Universal Solvent DMSO

FASEB Journal : Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Mar, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24327606

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is an important aprotic solvent that can solubilize a wide variety of otherwise poorly soluble polar and nonpolar molecules. This, coupled with its apparent low toxicity at concentrations <10%, has led to its ubiquitous use and widespread application. Here, we demonstrate that DMSO induces retinal apoptosis in vivo at low concentrations (5 μl intravitreally dosed DMSO in rat from a stock concentration of 1, 2, 4, and 8% v/v). Toxicity was confirmed in vitro in a retinal neuronal cell line, at DMSO concentrations >1% (v/v), using annexin V, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), and AlamarBlue cell viability assays. DMSO concentrations >10% (v/v) have recently been reported to cause cellular toxicity through plasma membrane pore formation. Here, we show the mechanism by which low concentrations (2-4% DMSO) induce caspase-3 independent neuronal death that involves apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) translocation from mitochondria to the nucleus and poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase (PARP) activation. These results highlight safety concerns of using low concentrations of DMSO as a solvent for in vivo administration and in biological assays. We recommend that methods other than DMSO are employed for solubilizing drugs but, where no alternative exists, researchers compute absolute DMSO final concentrations and include an untreated control group in addition to DMSO vehicle control to check for solvent toxicity.

Loss-of-function Mutations in MICU1 Cause a Brain and Muscle Disorder Linked to Primary Alterations in Mitochondrial Calcium Signaling

Nature Genetics. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24336167

Mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake has key roles in cell life and death. Physiological Ca(2+) signaling regulates aerobic metabolism, whereas pathological Ca(2+) overload triggers cell death. Mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake is mediated by the Ca(2+) uniporter complex in the inner mitochondrial membrane, which comprises MCU, a Ca(2+)-selective ion channel, and its regulator, MICU1. Here we report mutations of MICU1 in individuals with a disease phenotype characterized by proximal myopathy, learning difficulties and a progressive extrapyramidal movement disorder. In fibroblasts from subjects with MICU1 mutations, agonist-induced mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake at low cytosolic Ca(2+) concentrations was increased, and cytosolic Ca(2+) signals were reduced. Although resting mitochondrial membrane potential was unchanged in MICU1-deficient cells, the mitochondrial network was severely fragmented. Whereas the pathophysiology of muscular dystrophy and the core myopathies involves abnormal mitochondrial Ca(2+) handling, the phenotype associated with MICU1 deficiency is caused by a primary defect in mitochondrial Ca(2+) signaling, demonstrating the crucial role of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake in humans.

PPARγ Activation Rescues Mitochondrial Function from Inhibition of Complex I and Loss of PINK1

Experimental Neurology. Mar, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24374061

Parkinson's disease has long been associated with impaired mitochondrial complex I activity, while several gene defects associated with familial Parkinson's involve defects in mitochondrial function or 'quality control' pathways, causing an imbalance between mitochondrial biogenesis and removal of dysfunctional mitochondria by autophagy. Amongst these are mutations of the gene for PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) in which mitochondrial function is abnormal. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), a nuclear receptor and ligand-dependent transcription factor, regulates pathways of inflammation, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, antioxidant defences and mitochondrial biogenesis. We have found that inhibition of complex I in human differentiated SHSY-5Y cells by the complex I inhibitor rotenone irreversibly decrease mitochondrial mass, membrane potential and oxygen consumption, while increasing free radical generation and autophagy. Similar changes are seen in PINK1 knockdown cells, in which potential, oxygen consumption and mitochondrial mass are all decreased. In both models, all these changes were reversed by pre-treatment of the cells with the PPARγ agonist, rosiglitazone, which increased mitochondrial biogenesis, increased oxygen consumption and suppressed free radical generation and autophagy. Thus, rosiglitazone is neuroprotective in two different models of mitochondrial dysfunction associated with Parkinson's disease through a direct impact on mitochondrial function.

The Compound BTB06584 is an IF1 -dependent Selective Inhibitor of the Mitochondrial F1 Fo-ATPase

British Journal of Pharmacology. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24641180

Ischaemia compromises mitochondrial respiration. Consequently, the mitochondrial F1 Fo-ATPsynthase reverses and acts as a proton-pumping ATPase, so maintaining the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm ), while accelerating ATP depletion and cell death. Here we have looked for a molecule that can selectively inhibit this activity without affecting ATP synthesis, preserve ATP and delay ischaemic cell death.

Separating NADH and NADPH Fluorescence in Live Cells and Tissues Using FLIM

Nature Communications. May, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24874098

NAD is a key determinant of cellular energy metabolism. In contrast, its phosphorylated form, NADP, plays a central role in biosynthetic pathways and antioxidant defence. The reduced forms of both pyridine nucleotides are fluorescent in living cells but they cannot be distinguished, as they are spectrally identical. Here, using genetic and pharmacological approaches to perturb NAD(P)H metabolism, we find that fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) differentiates quantitatively between the two cofactors. Systematic manipulations to change the balance between oxidative and glycolytic metabolism suggest that these states do not directly impact NAD(P)H fluorescence decay rates. The lifetime changes observed in cancers thus likely reflect shifts in the NADPH/NADH balance. Using a mathematical model, we use these experimental data to quantify the relative levels of NADH and NADPH in different cell types of a complex tissue, the mammalian cochlea. This reveals NADPH-enriched populations of cells, raising questions about their distinct metabolic roles.

The 'mitoflash' Probe CpYFP Does Not Respond to Superoxide

Nature. Oct, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25341790

Ischaemic Accumulation of Succinate Controls Reperfusion Injury Through Mitochondrial ROS

Nature. Nov, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25383517

Ischaemia-reperfusion injury occurs when the blood supply to an organ is disrupted and then restored, and underlies many disorders, notably heart attack and stroke. While reperfusion of ischaemic tissue is essential for survival, it also initiates oxidative damage, cell death and aberrant immune responses through the generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although mitochondrial ROS production in ischaemia reperfusion is established, it has generally been considered a nonspecific response to reperfusion. Here we develop a comparative in vivo metabolomic analysis, and unexpectedly identify widely conserved metabolic pathways responsible for mitochondrial ROS production during ischaemia reperfusion. We show that selective accumulation of the citric acid cycle intermediate succinate is a universal metabolic signature of ischaemia in a range of tissues and is responsible for mitochondrial ROS production during reperfusion. Ischaemic succinate accumulation arises from reversal of succinate dehydrogenase, which in turn is driven by fumarate overflow from purine nucleotide breakdown and partial reversal of the malate/aspartate shuttle. After reperfusion, the accumulated succinate is rapidly re-oxidized by succinate dehydrogenase, driving extensive ROS generation by reverse electron transport at mitochondrial complex I. Decreasing ischaemic succinate accumulation by pharmacological inhibition is sufficient to ameliorate in vivo ischaemia-reperfusion injury in murine models of heart attack and stroke. Thus, we have identified a conserved metabolic response of tissues to ischaemia and reperfusion that unifies many hitherto unconnected aspects of ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Furthermore, these findings reveal a new pathway for metabolic control of ROS production in vivo, while demonstrating that inhibition of ischaemic succinate accumulation and its oxidation after subsequent reperfusion is a potential therapeutic target to decrease ischaemia-reperfusion injury in a range of pathologies.

PPARγ and PGC-1α As Therapeutic Targets in Parkinson's

Neurochemical Research. Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25007880

The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is a ligand-activated transcriptional factor that belongs to the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. PPARγ was initially identified through its role in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and cell differentiation. It also influences the expression or activity of a number of genes in a variety of signalling networks. These include regulation of redox balance, fatty acid oxidation, immune responses and mitochondrial function. Recent studies suggest that the PPARγ agonists may serve as good candidates for the treatment of several neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, even though multiple etiological factors contribute to the development of these disorders. Recent reports have also signposted a role for PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) in several neurodegenerative disorders including PD. In this review, we explore the current knowledge of mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of PPARγ agonists and PGC-1α in models of PD.

Impaired Mitochondrial Homeostasis and Neurodegeneration: Towards New Therapeutic Targets?

Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes. Apr, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25216534

The sustained integrity of the mitochondrial population of a cell is critical for maintained cell health, and disruption of that integrity is linked strongly to human disease, especially to the neurodegenerative diseases. These are appalling diseases causing untold levels of suffering for which treatment is woefully inadequate. Understanding the mechanisms that disturb mitochondrial homeostasis may therefore prove key to identification of potential new therapeutic pathways. Mechanisms causing mitochondrial dysfunction include the acute catastrophic loss of function caused by opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP), which collapses bioenergetic function and initiates cell death. This is best characterised in ischaemic reperfusion injury, although it may also contribute to a number of other diseases. More insidious disturbances of mitochondrial homeostasis may result from impaired balance in the pathways that promote mitochondrial repair (biogenesis) and pathways that remove dysfunctional mitochondria (mitophagy). Impaired coordination between these processes is emerging as a key feature of a number of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular disorders. Here we review pathways that may prove to be valuable potential therapeutic targets, focussing on the molecular mechanisms that govern the coordination of these processes and their involvement in neurodegenerative diseases.

Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction is Associated with Derangements in Mitochondrial Bioenergetics (but Not UCP3) in a Rodent Model of Sepsis

American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism. May, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25714676

Muscle dysfunction is a common feature of severe sepsis and multiorgan failure. Recent evidence implicates bioenergetic dysfunction and oxidative damage as important underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Increased abundance of uncoupling protein-3 (UCP3) in sepsis suggests increased mitochondrial proton leak, which may reduce mitochondrial coupling efficiency but limit reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Using a murine model, we examined metabolic, cardiovascular, and skeletal muscle contractile changes following induction of peritoneal sepsis in wild-type and Ucp3(-/-) mice. Mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) was measured using two-photon microscopy in living diaphragm, and contractile function was measured in diaphragm muscle strips. The kinetic relationship between membrane potential and oxygen consumption was determined using a modular kinetic approach in isolated mitochondria. Sepsis was associated with significant whole body metabolic suppression, hypothermia, and cardiovascular dysfunction. Maximal force generation was reduced and fatigue accelerated in ex vivo diaphragm muscle strips from septic mice. Δψm was lower in the isolated diaphragm from septic mice despite normal substrate oxidation kinetics and proton leak in skeletal muscle mitochondria. Even though wild-type mice exhibited an absolute 26 ± 6% higher UCP3 protein abundance at 24 h, no differences were seen in whole animal or diaphragm physiology, nor in survival rates, between wild-type and Ucp3(-/-) mice. In conclusion, this murine sepsis model shows a hypometabolic phenotype with evidence of significant cardiovascular and muscle dysfunction. This was associated with lower Δψm and alterations in mitochondrial ATP turnover and the phosphorylation pathway. However, UCP3 does not play an important functional role, despite its upregulation.

Alkalinity of Neutrophil Phagocytic Vacuoles is Modulated by HVCN1 and Has Consequences for Myeloperoxidase Activity

PloS One. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25885273

The NADPH oxidase of neutrophils, essential for innate immunity, passes electrons across the phagocytic membrane to form superoxide in the phagocytic vacuole. Activity of the oxidase requires that charge movements across the vacuolar membrane are balanced. Using the pH indicator SNARF, we measured changes in pH in the phagocytic vacuole and cytosol of neutrophils. In human cells, the vacuolar pH rose to ~9, and the cytosol acidified slightly. By contrast, in Hvcn1 knock out mouse neutrophils, the vacuolar pH rose above 11, vacuoles swelled, and the cytosol acidified excessively, demonstrating that ordinarily this channel plays an important role in charge compensation. Proton extrusion was not diminished in Hvcn1-/- mouse neutrophils arguing against its role in maintaining pH homeostasis across the plasma membrane. Conditions in the vacuole are optimal for bacterial killing by the neutral proteases, cathepsin G and elastase, and not by myeloperoxidase, activity of which was unphysiologically low at alkaline pH.

Cellular Glutathione Content in the Organ of Corti and Its Role During Ototoxicity

Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25972783

Glutathione (GSH) is the major scavenger of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cells. We used live confocal imaging in order to clarify the role of GSH in the biology of the organ of Corti, the sensory epithelium of the cochlea, before, during and after the onset of hearing and in ~1 year old mice. GSH content was measured using monochlorobimane (MCB), a non-fluorescent cell permeant bimane that reacts with GSH, forming a fluorescent adduct through a reaction catalyzed by glutathione-S-transferase. GSH content increased significantly in inner hair cells during maturation in young adult animals, whereas there was no significant change in the outer hair cells. However, the GSH content in inner hair cells was significantly reduced in ~1 year old mice. The GSH content of supporting cells was comparatively stable over these ages. To test whether the GSH content played a significant protective role during ototoxicity, GSH synthesis was inhibited by buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) in organotypic cochlear explant cultures from immature mice. BSO treatment alone, which reduced GSH by 65 and 85% in inner hair cells and outer hair cells respectively, did not cause any significant cell death. Surprisingly, GSH depletion had no significant effect on hair cell survival even during exposure to the ototoxic aminoglycoside neomycin. These data suggest that the involvement of ROS during aminoglycoside-induced hair cell death is less clear than previously thought and requires further investigation.

Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 2 Deficiency is a Novel Disorder of Mitochondrial Fission

Brain : a Journal of Neurology. Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26122121

Defects of mitochondrial dynamics are emerging causes of neurological disease. In two children presenting with severe neurological deterioration following viral infection we identified a novel homozygous STAT2 mutation, c.1836 C>A (p.Cys612Ter), using whole exome sequencing. In muscle and fibroblasts from these patients, and a third unrelated STAT2-deficient patient, we observed extremely elongated mitochondria. Western blot analysis revealed absence of the STAT2 protein and that the mitochondrial fission protein DRP1 (encoded by DNM1L) is inactive, as shown by its phosphorylation state. All three patients harboured decreased levels of DRP1 phosphorylated at serine residue 616 (P-DRP1(S616)), a post-translational modification known to activate DRP1, and increased levels of DRP1 phosphorylated at serine 637 (P-DRP1(S637)), associated with the inactive state of the DRP1 GTPase. Knockdown of STAT2 in SHSY5Y cells recapitulated the fission defect, with elongated mitochondria and decreased P-DRP1(S616) levels. Furthermore the mitochondrial fission defect in patient fibroblasts was rescued following lentiviral transduction with wild-type STAT2 in all three patients, with normalization of mitochondrial length and increased P-DRP1(S616) levels. Taken together, these findings implicate STAT2 as a novel regulator of DRP1 phosphorylation at serine 616, and thus of mitochondrial fission, and suggest that there are interactions between immunity and mitochondria. This is the first study to link the innate immune system to mitochondrial dynamics and morphology. We hypothesize that variability in JAK-STAT signalling may contribute to the phenotypic heterogeneity of mitochondrial disease, and may explain why some patients with underlying mitochondrial disease decompensate after seemingly trivial viral infections. Modulating JAK-STAT activity may represent a novel therapeutic avenue for mitochondrial diseases, which remain largely untreatable. This may also be relevant for more common neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases, in which abnormalities of mitochondrial morphology have been implicated in disease pathogenesis.

Reversal of Mitochondrial Transhydrogenase Causes Oxidative Stress in Heart Failure

Cell Metabolism. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26256392

Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a central role in most aging-related diseases. ROS are produced at the respiratory chain that demands NADH for electron transport and are eliminated by enzymes that require NADPH. The nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (Nnt) is considered a key antioxidative enzyme based on its ability to regenerate NADPH from NADH. Here, we show that pathological metabolic demand reverses the direction of the Nnt, consuming NADPH to support NADH and ATP production, but at the cost of NADPH-linked antioxidative capacity. In heart, reverse-mode Nnt is the dominant source for ROS during pressure overload. Due to a mutation of the Nnt gene, the inbred mouse strain C57BL/6J is protected from oxidative stress, heart failure, and death, making its use in cardiovascular research problematic. Targeting Nnt-mediated ROS with the tetrapeptide SS-31 rescued mortality in pressure overload-induced heart failure and could therefore have therapeutic potential in patients with this syndrome.

HDAC6 Inhibition Induces Mitochondrial Fusion, Autophagic Flux and Reduces Diffuse Mutant Huntingtin in Striatal Neurons

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Nov, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26300485

Striatal neurons are vulnerable to Huntington's disease (HD). Decreased levels of acetylated alpha-tubulin and impaired mitochondrial dynamics, such as reduced motility and excessive fission, are associated with HD; however, it remains unclear whether and how these factors might contribute to the preferential degeneration of striatal neurons. Inhibition of the alpha-tubulin deacetylase HDAC6 has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy for HD, but remains controversial - studies in neurons show improved intracellular transport, whereas studies in cell-lines suggest it may impair autophagosome-lysosome fusion, and reduce clearance of mutant huntingtin (mHtt) and damaged mitochondria (mitophagy). Using primary cultures of rat striatal and cortical neurons, we show that mitochondria are intrinsically less motile and more balanced towards fission in striatal than in cortical neurons. Pharmacological inhibition of the HDAC6 deacetylase activity with tubastatin A (TBA) increased acetylated alpha-tubulin levels, and induced mitochondrial motility and fusion in striatal neurons to levels observed in cortical neurons. Importantly, TBA did not block neuronal autophagosome-lysosome fusion, and did not change mitochondrial DNA levels, suggesting no impairment in autophagy or mitochondrial clearance. Instead, TBA increased autophagic flux and reduced diffuse mHtt in striatal neurons, possibly by promoting transport of initiation factors to sites of autophagosomal biogenesis. This study identifies the pharmacological inhibition of HDAC6 deacetylase activity as a potential strategy to reduce the vulnerability of striatal neurons to HD.

Calcium Signaling As a Mediator of Cell Energy Demand and a Trigger to Cell Death

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26375864

Calcium signaling is pivotal to a host of physiological pathways. A rise in calcium concentration almost invariably signals an increased cellular energy demand. Consistent with this, calcium signals mediate a number of pathways that together serve to balance energy supply and demand. In pathological states, calcium signals can precipitate mitochondrial injury and cell death, especially when coupled to energy depletion and oxidative or nitrosative stress. This review explores the mechanisms that couple cell signaling pathways to metabolic regulation or to cell death. The significance of these pathways is exemplified by pathological case studies, such as those showing loss of mitochondrial calcium uptake 1 in patients and ischemia/reperfusion injury.

Inhibition of NAADP Signalling on Reperfusion Protects the Heart by Preventing Lethal Calcium Oscillations Via Two-pore Channel 1 and Opening of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore

Cardiovascular Research. Dec, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26395965

In the heart, a period of ischaemia followed by reperfusion evokes powerful cytosolic Ca(2+) oscillations that can cause lethal cell injury. These signals represent attractive cardioprotective targets, but the underlying mechanisms of genesis are ill-defined. Here, we investigated the role of the second messenger nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP), which is known in several cell types to induce Ca(2+) oscillations that initiate from acidic stores such as lysosomes, likely via two-pore channels (TPCs, TPC1 and 2).

Mitochondrial Dynamics and Quality Control in Huntington's Disease

Neurobiology of Disease. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26388396

Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by polyglutamine expansion mutations in the huntingtin protein. Despite its ubiquitous distribution, expression of mutant huntingtin (mHtt) is particularly detrimental to medium spiny neurons within the striatum. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with HD pathogenesis. Here we review the current evidence for mHtt-induced abnormalities in mitochondrial dynamics and quality control, with a particular focus on brain and neuronal data pertaining to striatal vulnerability. We address mHtt effects on mitochondrial biogenesis, protein import, complex assembly, fission and fusion, mitochondrial transport, and on the degradation of damaged mitochondria via autophagy (mitophagy). For an integrated perspective on potentially converging pathogenic mechanisms, we also address impaired autophagosomal transport and abnormal mHtt proteostasis in HD.

Hypothermia Protects Brain Mitochondrial Function from Hypoxemia in a Murine Model of Sepsis

Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism : Official Journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26661160

Sepsis is commonly associated with brain dysfunction, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear, although mitochondrial dysfunction and microvascular abnormalities have been implicated. We therefore assessed whether cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction during systemic endotoxemia in mice increased mitochondrial sensitivity to a further bioenergetic insult (hyoxemia), and whether hypothermia could improve outcome. Mice (C57bl/6) were injected intraperitoneally with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (5 mg/kg; n = 85) or saline (0.01 ml/g; n = 47). Six, 24 and 48 h later, we used confocal imaging in vivo to assess cerebral mitochondrial redox potential and cortical oxygenation in response to changes in inspired oxygen. The fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) at which the cortical redox potential changed was compared between groups. In a subset of animals, spontaneous hypothermia was maintained or controlled hypothermia induced during imaging. Decreasing FiO2 resulted in a more reduced cerebral redox state around veins, but preserved oxidation around arteries. This pattern appeared at a higher FiO2 in LPS-injected animals, suggesting an increased sensitivity of cortical mitochondria to hypoxemia. This increased sensitivity was accompanied by a decrease in cortical oxygenation, but was attenuated by hypothermia. These results suggest that systemic endotoxemia influences cortical oxygenation and mitochondrial function, and that therapeutic hypothermia can be protective.

Selective Inhibition of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Protects Against Neurodegeneration in Experimental Multiple Sclerosis

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Feb, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26679998

The mitochondrial permeability transition pore is a recognized drug target for neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis and for ischemia-reperfusion injury in the brain and heart. The peptidylprolyl isomerase, cyclophilin D (CypD, PPIF), is a positive regulator of the pore, and genetic down-regulation or knock-out improves outcomes in disease models. Current inhibitors of peptidylprolyl isomerases show no selectivity between the tightly conserved cyclophilin paralogs and exhibit significant off-target effects, immunosuppression, and toxicity. We therefore designed and synthesized a new mitochondrially targeted CypD inhibitor, JW47, using a quinolinium cation tethered to cyclosporine. X-ray analysis was used to validate the design concept, and biological evaluation revealed selective cellular inhibition of CypD and the permeability transition pore with reduced cellular toxicity compared with cyclosporine. In an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis disease model of neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis, JW47 demonstrated significant protection of axons and improved motor assessments with minimal immunosuppression. These findings suggest that selective CypD inhibition may represent a viable therapeutic strategy for MS and identify quinolinium as a mitochondrial targeting group for in vivo use.

Endoplasmic Reticulum and Lysosomal Ca²⁺ Stores Are Remodelled in GBA1-linked Parkinson Disease Patient Fibroblasts

Cell Calcium. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26691915

Mutations in β-glucocerebrosidase (encoded by GBA1) cause Gaucher disease (GD), a lysosomal storage disorder, and increase the risk of developing Parkinson disease (PD). The pathogenetic relationship between the two disorders is unclear. Here, we characterised Ca(2+) release in fibroblasts from type I GD and PD patients together with age-matched, asymptomatic carriers, all with the common N370S mutation in β-glucocerebrosidase. We show that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca(2+) release was potentiated in GD and PD patient fibroblasts but not in cells from asymptomatic carriers. ER Ca(2+) signalling was also potentiated in fibroblasts from aged healthy subjects relative to younger individuals but not further increased in aged PD patient cells. Chemical or molecular inhibition of β-glucocerebrosidase in fibroblasts and a neuronal cell line did not affect ER Ca(2+) signalling suggesting defects are independent of enzymatic activity loss. Conversely, lysosomal Ca(2+) store content was reduced in PD fibroblasts and associated with age-dependent alterations in lysosomal morphology. Accelerated remodelling of Ca(2+) stores by pathogenic GBA1 mutations may therefore feature in PD.

Guidelines for the Use and Interpretation of Assays for Monitoring Autophagy (3rd Edition)

Autophagy. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26799652

NRF2 Orchestrates the Metabolic Shift During Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Reprogramming

Cell Reports. Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26904936

The potential of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in disease modeling and regenerative medicine is vast, but current methodologies remain inefficient. Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying iPSC reprogramming, such as the metabolic shift from oxidative to glycolytic energy production, is key to improving its efficiency. We have developed a lentiviral reporter system to assay longitudinal changes in cell signaling and transcription factor activity in living cells throughout iPSC reprogramming of human dermal fibroblasts. We reveal early NF-κB, AP-1, and NRF2 transcription factor activation prior to a temporal peak in hypoxia inducible factor α (HIFα) activity. Mechanistically, we show that an early burst in oxidative phosphorylation and elevated reactive oxygen species generation mediates increased NRF2 activity, which in turn initiates the HIFα-mediated glycolytic shift and may modulate glucose redistribution to the pentose phosphate pathway. Critically, inhibition of NRF2 by KEAP1 overexpression compromises metabolic reprogramming and results in reduced efficiency of iPSC colony formation.

Impaired Cellular Bioenergetics Causes Mitochondrial Calcium Handling Defects in MT-ND5 Mutant Cybrids

PloS One. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27110715

Mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) can cause mitochondrial disease, a group of metabolic disorders that affect both children and adults. Interestingly, individual mtDNA mutations can cause very different clinical symptoms, however the factors that determine these phenotypes remain obscure. Defects in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation can disrupt cell signaling pathways, which may shape these disease phenotypes. In particular, mitochondria participate closely in cellular calcium signaling, with profound impact on cell function. Here, we examined the effects of a homoplasmic m.13565C>T mutation in MT-ND5 on cellular calcium handling using transmitochondrial cybrids (ND5 mutant cybrids). We found that the oxidation of NADH and mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) were significantly reduced in ND5 mutant cybrids. These metabolic defects were associated with a significant decrease in calcium uptake by ND5 mutant mitochondria in response to a calcium transient. Inhibition of glycolysis with 2-deoxy-D-glucose did not affect cytosolic calcium levels in control cybrids, but caused an increase in cytosolic calcium in ND5 mutant cybrids. This suggests that glycolytically-generated ATP is required not only to maintain Δψm in ND5 mutant mitochondria but is also critical for regulating cellular calcium homeostasis. We conclude that the m.13565C>T mutation in MT-ND5 causes defects in both mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial calcium sequestration. This disruption of mitochondrial calcium handling, which leads to defects in cellular calcium homeostasis, may be an important contributor to mitochondrial disease pathogenesis.

The Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter Regulates Breast Cancer Progression Via HIF-1α

EMBO Molecular Medicine. May, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27138568

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents the most aggressive breast tumor subtype. However, the molecular determinants responsible for the metastatic TNBC phenotype are only partially understood. We here show that expression of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), the selective channel responsible for mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake, correlates with tumor size and lymph node infiltration, suggesting that mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake might be instrumental for tumor growth and metastatic formation. Accordingly, MCU downregulation hampered cell motility and invasiveness and reduced tumor growth, lymph node infiltration, and lung metastasis in TNBC xenografts. In MCU-silenced cells, production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS) is blunted and expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is reduced, suggesting a signaling role for mROS and HIF-1α, downstream of mitochondrial Ca(2+) Finally, in breast cancer mRNA samples, a positive correlation of MCU expression with HIF-1α signaling route is present. Our results indicate that MCU plays a central role in TNBC growth and metastasis formation and suggest that mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake is a potential novel therapeutic target for clinical intervention.

PPARγ As a Therapeutic Target to Rescue Mitochondrial Function in Neurological Disease

Free Radical Biology & Medicine. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27352979

There is increasing evidence for the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of many of the major neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases, suggesting that mitochondrial and antioxidant pathways may represent potential novel therapeutic targets. Recent years have seen a rapidly growing interest in the use of therapeutic strategies that can limit the defects in, or even to restore, mitochondrial function while reducing free radical generation. The peroxisome proliferation-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), a ligand-activated transcription factor, has a wide spectrum of biological functions, regulating mitochondrial function, mitochondrial turnover, energy metabolism, antioxidant defence and redox balance, immune responses and fatty acid oxidation. In this review, we explore the evidence for potential beneficial effects of PPARγ agonists in a number of neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington's disease, ischaemia, autoimmune encephalomyelitis and neuropathic pain. We discuss the mechanisms underlying those beneficial effects in particular in relation to mitochondrial function, antioxidant defence, cell death and inflammation, and suggest that the PPARγ agonists show significant promise as therapeutic agents in otherwise intractable neurological disease.

Introduction to Special Issue on Mitochondrial Redox Signaling in Health and Disease

Free Radical Biology & Medicine. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27502830

Investigating Mitochondrial Redox State Using NADH and NADPH Autofluorescence

Free Radical Biology & Medicine. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27519271

The redox states of the NAD and NADP pyridine nucleotide pools play critical roles in defining the activity of energy producing pathways, in driving oxidative stress and in maintaining antioxidant defences. Broadly speaking, NAD is primarily engaged in regulating energy-producing catabolic processes, whilst NADP may be involved in both antioxidant defence and free radical generation. Defects in the balance of these pathways are associated with numerous diseases, from diabetes and neurodegenerative disease to heart disease and cancer. As such, a method to assess the abundance and redox state of these separate pools in living tissues would provide invaluable insight into the underlying pathophysiology. Experimentally, the intrinsic fluorescence of the reduced forms of both redox cofactors, NADH and NADPH, has been used for this purpose since the mid-twentieth century. In this review, we outline the modern implementation of these techniques for studying mitochondrial redox state in complex tissue preparations. As the fluorescence spectra of NADH and NADPH are indistinguishable, interpreting the signals resulting from their combined fluorescence, often labelled NAD(P)H, can be complex. We therefore discuss recent studies using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) which offer the potential to discriminate between the two separate pools. This technique provides increased metabolic information from cellular autofluorescence in biomedical investigations, offering biochemical insights into the changes in time-resolved NAD(P)H fluorescence signals observed in diseased tissues.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction is an Important Cause of Neurological Deficits in an Inflammatory Model of Multiple Sclerosis

Scientific Reports. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27624721

Neuroinflammation can cause major neurological dysfunction, without demyelination, in both multiple sclerosis (MS) and a mouse model of the disease (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; EAE), but the mechanisms remain obscure. Confocal in vivo imaging of the mouse EAE spinal cord reveals that impaired neurological function correlates with the depolarisation of both the axonal mitochondria and the axons themselves. Indeed, the depolarisation parallels the expression of neurological deficit at the onset of disease, and during relapse, improving during remission in conjunction with the deficit. Mitochondrial dysfunction, fragmentation and impaired trafficking were most severe in regions of extravasated perivascular inflammatory cells. The dysfunction at disease onset was accompanied by increased expression of the rate-limiting glycolytic enzyme phosphofructokinase-2 in activated astrocytes, and by selective reduction in spinal mitochondrial complex I activity. The metabolic changes preceded any demyelination or axonal degeneration. We conclude that mitochondrial dysfunction is a major cause of reversible neurological deficits in neuroinflammatory disease, such as MS.

Identification of ER-000444793, a Cyclophilin D-independent Inhibitor of Mitochondrial Permeability Transition, Using a High-throughput Screen in Cryopreserved Mitochondria

Scientific Reports. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27886240

Growing evidence suggests persistent mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening is a key pathophysiological event in cell death underlying a variety of diseases. While it has long been clear the mPTP is a druggable target, current agents are limited by off-target effects and low therapeutic efficacy. Therefore identification and development of novel inhibitors is necessary. To rapidly screen large compound libraries for novel mPTP modulators, a method was exploited to cryopreserve large batches of functionally active mitochondria from cells and tissues. The cryopreserved mitochondria maintained respiratory coupling and ATP synthesis, Ca(2+) uptake and transmembrane potential. A high-throughput screen (HTS), using an assay of Ca(2+)-induced mitochondrial swelling in the cryopreserved mitochondria identified ER-000444793, a potent inhibitor of mPTP opening. Further evaluation using assays of Ca(2+)-induced membrane depolarisation and Ca(2+) retention capacity also indicated that ER-000444793 acted as an inhibitor of the mPTP. ER-000444793 neither affected cyclophilin D (CypD) enzymatic activity, nor displaced of CsA from CypD protein, suggesting a mechanism independent of CypD inhibition. Here we identified a novel, CypD-independent inhibitor of the mPTP. The screening approach and compound described provides a workflow and additional tool to aid the search for novel mPTP modulators and to help understand its molecular nature.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Neurodegeneration in Lysosomal Storage Disorders

Trends in Molecular Medicine. Feb, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28111024

Lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) are rare inherited debilitating and often fatal disorders. Caused by mutations affecting lysosomal proteins, LSDs are characterized by the accumulation of undegraded material in lysosomes and by lysosomal dysfunction. Although LSDs are multisystemic diseases, the majority display neurologic symptoms and neurodegeneration. Only recently has a role emerged for mitochondrial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of LSDs, suggesting an impact of lysosomal dysfunction on mitochondria. Moreover, mitochondrial damage may also cause lysosomal dysfunction, further supporting the activity of common signaling pathways and crosstalk between the two organelles. In this review we explore the mechanisms linking lysosomal and mitochondrial dysfunction to assess whether specific mitochondrial pathways represent a new therapeutic frontier in the management of LSDs.

Pathological Consequences of MICU1 Mutations on Mitochondrial Calcium Signalling and Bioenergetics

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28132899

Loss of function mutations of the protein MICU1, a regulator of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake, cause a neuronal and muscular disorder characterised by impaired cognition, muscle weakness and an extrapyramidal motor disorder. We have shown previously that MICU1 mutations cause increased resting mitochondrial Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]m). We now explore the functional consequences of MICU1 mutations in patient derived fibroblasts in order to clarify the underlying pathophysiology of this disorder. We propose that deregulation of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake through loss of MICU1 raises resting [Ca(2+)]m, initiating a futile Ca(2+) cycle, whereby continuous mitochondrial Ca(2+) influx is balanced by Ca(2+) efflux through the sodium calcium exchanger (NLCXm). Thus, inhibition of NCLXm by CGP-37157 caused rapid mitochondrial Ca(2+) accumulation in patient but not control cells. We suggest that increased NCLX activity will increase sodium/proton exchange, potentially undermining oxidative phosphorylation, although this is balanced by dephosphorylation and activation of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) in response to the increased [Ca(2+)]m. Consistent with this model, while ATP content in patient derived or control fibroblasts was not different, ATP increased significantly in response to CGP-37157 in the patient but not the control cells. In addition, EMRE expression levels were altered in MICU1 patient cells compared to the controls. The MICU1 mutations were associated with mitochondrial fragmentation which we show is related to altered DRP1 phosphorylation. Thus, MICU1 serves as a signal-noise discriminator in mitochondrial calcium signalling, limiting the energetic costs of mitochondrial Ca(2+) signalling which may undermine oxidative phosphorylation, especially in tissues with highly dynamic energetic demands. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: ECS Meeting edited by Claus Heizmann, Joachim Krebs and Jacques Haiech.

Investigating State Restriction in Fluorescent Protein FRET Using Time-Resolved Fluorescence and Anisotropy

The Journal of Physical Chemistry. C, Nanomaterials and Interfaces. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28217242

Most fluorescent proteins exhibit multiexponential fluorescence decays, indicating a heterogeneous excited state population. FRET between fluorescent proteins should therefore involve multiple energy transfer pathways. We recently demonstrated the FRET pathways between EGFP and mCherry (mC), upon the dimerization of 3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1), to be highly restricted. A mechanism for FRET restriction based on a highly unfavorable κ(2) orientation factor arising from differences in donor-acceptor transition dipole moment angles in a far from coplanar and near static interaction geometry was proposed. Here this is tested via FRET to mC arising from the association of glutathione (GSH) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) with an intrinsically homogeneous and more mobile donor Oregon Green 488 (OG). A new analysis of the acceptor window intensity, based on the turnover point of the sensitized fluorescence, is combined with donor window intensity and anisotropy measurements which show that unrestricted FRET to mC takes place. However, a long-lived anisotropy decay component in the donor window reveals a GST-GSH population in which FRET does not occur, explaining previous discrepancies between quantitative FRET measurements of GST-GSH association and their accepted values. This reinforces the importance of the local donor-acceptor environment in mediating energy transfer and the need to perform spectrally resolved intensity and anisotropy decay measurements in the accurate quantification of fluorescent protein FRET.

Assessment of Cellular Redox State Using NAD(P)H Fluorescence Intensity and Lifetime

Bio-protocol. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28286806

NADH and NADPH are redox cofactors, primarily involved in catabolic and anabolic metabolic processes respectively. In addition, NADPH plays an important role in cellular antioxidant defence. In live cells and tissues, the intensity of their spectrally-identical autofluorescence, termed NAD(P)H, can be used to probe the mitochondrial redox state, while their distinct enzyme-binding characteristics can be used to separate their relative contributions to the total NAD(P)H intensity using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). These protocols allow differences in metabolism to be detected between cell types and altered physiological and pathological states.

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