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Panov A.V.,Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory | Kubalik N.,Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory | Zinchenko N.,Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory | Ridings D.M.,Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology | Year: 2011

Mitochondrial dysfunctions contribute to neurodegeneration, the locations of which vary among neurodegenerative diseases. To begin to understand what mechanisms may underlie higher vulnerability of the spinal cord motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, compared with brain mitochondria, we studied three major functions of rat brain mitochondria (BM) and spinal cord mitochondria (SCM) mitochondria: oxidative phosphorylation, Ca2+ sequestration, and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), using a new metabolic paradigm (Panov et al., J. Biol. Chem. 284: 14448-14456, 2009). We present data that SCM share some unique metabolic properties of the BM. However, SCM also have several distinctions from the BM: 1) With the exception of succinate, SCM show significantly lower rates of respiration with all substrates studied; 2) immunoblotting analysis showed that this may be due to 30-40% lower contents of respiratory enzymes and porin; 3) compared with BM, SCM sequestered 40-50% less Ca2+, and the total tissue calcium content was 8 times higher in the spinal cord; 4) normalization for mitochondria from 1 g of tissue showed that BM can sequester several times more Ca2+ than was available in the brain tissue, whereas SCM had the capacity to sequester only 10-20% of the total tissue Ca2+; and 5) with succinate and succinate-containing substrate mixtures, SCM showed significantly higher state 4 respiration than BM and generated more ROS associated with the reverse electron transport. We conclude that SCM have an intrinsically higher risk of oxidative damage and overload with calcium than BM, and thus spinal cord may be more vulnerable under some pathologic conditions. © 2011 the American Physiological Society.

Panov A.,Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory | Kubalik N.,Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory | Brooks B.R.,Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory | Shaw C.A.,University of British Columbia
Journal of Membrane Biology | Year: 2010

The cluster of neurodegenerative disorders in the western Pacific termed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS-PDC) has been repeatedly linked to the use of seeds of various species of cycad. Identification and chemical synthesis of the most toxic compounds in the washed cycad seeds, a variant phytosteryl glucosides, and even more toxic cholesterol β-d-glucoside (CG), which is produced by the human parasite Helicobacter pylori, provide a possibility to study in vitro the mechanisms of toxicity of these compounds. We studied in detail the effects of CG on the respiratory activities and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by nonsynaptic brain and heart mitochondria oxidizing various substrates. The stimulatory effects of CG on respiration and ROS generation showed strong substrate dependence, suggesting involvement of succinate dehydrogenase (complex II). Maximal effects on ROS production were observed with 1 μmol CG/1 mg mitochondria. At this concentration the cycad toxins β-sitosterol-β-d-glucoside and stigmasterol-β-d-glucoside had effects on respiration and ROS production similar to CG. However, poor solubility precluded full concentration analysis of these toxins. Cholesterol, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol had no effect on mitochondrial functions studied at concentrations up to 100 μmol/mg protein. Our results suggest that CG may influence mitochondrial functions through changes in the packing of the bulk membrane lipids, as was shown earlier by Deliconstantinos et al. (Biochem Cell Biol 67:16-24, 1989). The neurotoxic effects of phytosteryl glucosides and CG may be associated with increased oxidative damage of neurons. Unlike heart mitochondria, in activated neurons mitochondria specifically increase ROS production associated with succinate oxidation (Panov et al., J Biol Chem 284:14448-14456, 2009). © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

PubMed | Carolinas Neuromuscular ALS Research Laboratory
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Neurobiology of disease | Year: 2011

Mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in the G93A mutant transgenic (tgmSOD1) animal model of ALS. However, it is unknown whether mitochondriopathy is a primary or secondary event. We isolated brain (BM) and spinal cord (SCM) mitochondria from 2 month old presymptomatic tgmSOD1 rats and studied respiration and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) using a new metabolic paradigm (Panov et al., Am. J. Physiol., Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 2011). The yields of BM and SCM from tgmSOD1 rats were 27% and 58% lower than normal rats (WT). The rates of the State 3 and State 3U respiration of tgBM and tgSCM were normal with glutamate+pyruvate+malate as substrates but were inhibited with pyruvate+malate in tgBM and glutamate+malate in tgSCM. In tgSCM the State 4 respiration with all substrates was significantly (1.5-2 fold) increased as compared with WT-SCM. Western blot analysis showed that tgSCM had lower contents of complexes III (-60%) and IV (-35%), and the presence of mutated SOD1 protein in both tgBM and tgSCM. With glutamate+pyruvate+malate or succinate+glutamate+pyruvate+malate as substrates, tgBM and tgSCM generated 5-7 fold more ROS than normal mitochondria, and tgSCM generated two times more ROS than tgBM. We show that the major damaging ROS species in tgmSOD1 animals is H(2)O(2). It is known that mutated SOD1, damaged by H(2)O(2), associates with mitochondria, and we suggest that this further increases production of H(2)O(2). We also show that the total tissue calcium content remained normal in the brain but was diminished by 26% in the spinal cord of presymptomatic tgmSOD1 rats.In tgSCM abnormally high rates of ROS generation, associated with reverse electron transport, result in accelerated mitochondriopathy, and the Ca(2+)-dependent excitotoxic death of motor neurons. Thus mitochondrial dysfunction is a key early element in pathogenesis of motor neuron degeneration in tgmSOD1 rats.

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