Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (41)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Complex IV Deficient Surf1−/− Mice Initiate Mitochondrial Stress Responses 
The Biochemical journal  2014;462(2):359-371.
Mutations in SURF1 cytochrome c oxidase (COX) assembly protein are associated with Leigh’s syndrome, a human mitochondrial disorder that manifests as severe mitochondrial phenotypes and early lethality. In contrast, mice lacking the Surf1 protein (Surf1−/−) are viable and were previously shown to have enhanced longevity and a greater than 50% reduction in COX activity. We measured mitochondrial function in heart and skeletal muscle, and despite the significant reduction in COX activity, we found little or no difference in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, membrane potential, ATP production or respiration in isolated mitochondria from Surf1−/− mice compared to wild-type. However, blood lactate levels are elevated and Surf1−/− mice have reduced running endurance, suggesting compromised mitochondrial energy metabolism in vivo. Decreased COX activity in Surf1−/− mice is associated with increased markers of mitochondrial biogenesis (PGC-1α and VDAC) in both heart and skeletal muscle. While mitochondrial biogenesis is a common response in the two tissues, skeletal muscle have an up-regulation of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRMT) and heart exhibits induction of the Nrf2 antioxidant response pathway. These data are the first to report induction of the UPRMT in a mammalian model of diminished COX activity. In addition our results suggest that impaired mitochondrial function can lead to induction of mitochondrial stress pathways to confer protective effects on cellular homeostasis.
Loss of complex IV assembly factor Surf1 in mice results in compensatory responses including mitochondrial biogenesis, the nrf2 pathway and the mitochondrial unfolded protein response. This compensatory response may contribute to the lack of deleterious phenotypes under basal conditions.
PMCID: PMC4145821  PMID: 24911525
Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response; Nrf2; Mitochondrial Biogenesis; Mitochondrial Function; Heme Oxygenase-1; Mitohormesis
2.  Microwave & Magnetic (M2) Proteomics of a Mouse Model of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury 
Translational proteomics  2014;3:10-21.
Short-term increases in oxidative stress and decreases in motor function, including debilitating effects on balance and motor control, can occur following primary mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI). However, the long-term effects on motor unit impairment and integrity as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying secondary injuries are poorly understood. We hypothesized that changes in central nervous system-specific protein (CSP) expression might correlate to these long-term effects. To test our hypothesis, we longitudinally assessed a closed-skull mTBI mouse model, vs. sham control, at 1, 7, 30, and 120 days post-injury. Motor impairment was determined by rotarod and grip strength performance measures, while motor unit integrity was determined using electromyography. Relative protein expression was determined by microwave & magnetic (M2) proteomics of ipsilateral brain tissue, as previously described. Isoprostane measurements were performed to confirm a primary oxidative stress response. Decoding the relative expression of 476 ± 56 top-ranked proteins for each specimen revealed statistically significant changes in the expression of two well-known CSPs at 1, 7 and 30 days post-injury: P < 0.001 for myelin basic protein (MBP) and P < 0.05 for myelin associated glycoprotein (MAG). This was confirmed by Western blot. Moreover, MAG, αII-spectrin (SPNA2) and neurofilament light (NEFL) expression at 30 days post-injury were directly related to grip strength (P < 0.05). While higher-powered studies of larger cohorts merit further investigation, this study supports the proof-of-concept that M2 proteomics is a rapid method to quantify putative protein biomarkers and therapeutic targets of mTBI and suggests the feasibility of CSP expression correlations to long-term effects on motor impairment.
PMCID: PMC4492171  PMID: 26157646
microwave; magnetic; proteomics; mild traumatic brain injury; proteins; biomarkers; motor impairment; MBP; MAG; central nervous system-specific protein
3.  Reduction of mitochondrial H2O2 by overexpressing peroxiredoxin 3 improves glucose tolerance in mice 
Aging cell  2008;7(6):866-878.
H2O2 is a major reactive oxygen species produced by mitochondria that is implicated to be important in aging and pathogenesis of diseases such as diabetes; however, the cellular and physiological roles of mitochondrial H2O2 remain poorly understood. Peroxiredoxin 3 (Prdx3/Prx3) is a thioredoxin peroxidase localized in mitochondria. To understand the cellular and physiological roles of mitochondrial H2O2 in aging and pathogenesis of age-associated diseases, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing Prdx3 (Tg(PRDX3) mice). Tg(PRDX3) mice overexpress Prdx3 in a broad range of tissues, and the Prdx3 expression is localized exclusively in the mitochondria. As a result of increased Prdx3 expression, mitochondria from Tg(PRDX3) mice produce significantly reduced amount of H2O2, and cells from Tg(PRDX3) mice have increased resistance to stress-induced cell death and apoptosis. Interestingly, Tg(PRDX3) mice show improved glucose homeostasis, as evidenced by their reduced levels of blood glucose and increased glucose clearance. Tg(PRDX3) mice are also protected against hyperglycemia and glucose intolerance induced by high-fat diet feeding. Our results further show that the inhibition of GSK3 may play a role in mediating the improved glucose tolerance phenotype in Tg(PRDX3) mice. Thus, our results indicate that reduction of mitochondrial H2O2 by overexpressing Prdx3 improves glucose tolerance.
PMCID: PMC4431549  PMID: 18778410
mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; aging; diabetes; oxidative stress; peroxiredoxin 3
4.  The effects of dietary restriction on oxidative stress in rodents 
Oxidative stress is observed during aging and in numerous age-related diseases. Dietary restriction (DR) is a regimen that protects against disease and extends lifespan in multiple species. However, it is unknown how DR mediates its protective effects. One prominent and consistent effect of DR in a number of systems is the ability to reduce oxidative stress and damage. The purpose of this review is to comprehensively examine the hypothesis that dietary restriction reduces oxidative stress in rodents by decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and increasing antioxidant enzyme activity, leading to an overall reduction of oxidative damage to macromolecules. The literature reveals that the effects of DR on oxidative stress are complex and likely influenced by a variety of factors, including sex, species, tissue examined, types of ROS and antioxidant enzymes examined, and duration of DR. Here we present a comprehensive review of the existing literature on the effect of DR on mitochondrial ROS generation, antioxidant enzymes and oxidative damage. In a majority of studies, dietary restriction had little effect on mitochondrial ROS production or antioxidant activity. On the other hand, DR decreased oxidative damage in the majority of cases. Although the effects of DR on endogenous antioxidants are mixed, we find that glutathione levels are the most likely antioxidant to be increased by dietary restriction, which supports the emerging redox-stress hypothesis of aging.
PMCID: PMC4017324  PMID: 23743291
Dietary restriction; calorie restriction; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; antioxidant enzymes; oxidative damage; aging
5.  Genetic Disruption of SOD1 Gene Causes Glucose Intolerance and Impairs β-Cell Function 
Diabetes  2013;62(12):4201-4207.
Oxidative stress has been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, it is not clear whether oxidative damage is a cause or a consequence of the metabolic abnormalities present in diabetic subjects. The goal of this study was to determine whether inducing oxidative damage through genetic ablation of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) leads to abnormalities in glucose homeostasis. We studied SOD1-null mice and wild-type (WT) littermates. Glucose tolerance was evaluated with intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests. Peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity was quantitated with the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. β-Cell function was determined with the hyperglycemic clamp and morphometric analysis of pancreatic islets. Genetic ablation of SOD1 caused glucose intolerance, which was associated with reduced in vivo β-cell insulin secretion and decreased β-cell volume. Peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity were not significantly altered in SOD1-null mice. High-fat diet caused glucose intolerance in WT mice but did not further worsen the glucose intolerance observed in standard chow–fed SOD1-null mice. Our findings suggest that oxidative stress per se does not play a major role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and demonstrate that oxidative stress caused by SOD1 ablation leads to glucose intolerance secondary to β-cell dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3837066  PMID: 24009256
6.  Mouse Models of Oxidative Stress Indicate a Role for Modulating Healthy Aging 
Aging is a complex process that affects every major system at the molecular, cellular and organ levels. Although the exact cause of aging is unknown, there is significant evidence that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. The basis of the oxidative stress hypothesis is that aging occurs as a result of an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants, which leads to the accrual of damaged proteins, lipids and DNA macromolecules with age. Age-dependent increases in protein oxidation and aggregates, lipofuscin, and DNA mutations contribute to age-related pathologies. Many transgenic/knockout mouse models over expressing or deficient in key antioxidant enzymes have been generated to examine the effect of oxidative stress on aging and age-related diseases. Based on currently reported lifespan studies using mice with altered antioxidant defense, there is little evidence that oxidative stress plays a role in determining lifespan. However, mice deficient in antioxidant enzymes are often more susceptible to age-related disease while mice overexpressing antioxidant enzymes often have an increase in the amount of time spent without disease, i.e., healthspan. Thus, by understanding the mechanisms that affect healthy aging, we may discover potential therapeutic targets to extend human healthspan.
PMCID: PMC4188441  PMID: 25300955
Aging; Oxidative stress; Healthspan
7.  Decreased in vitro mitochondrial function is associated with enhanced brain metabolism, blood flow, and memory in Surf1-deficient mice 
Recent studies have challenged the prevailing view that reduced mitochondrial function and increased oxidative stress are correlated with reduced longevity. Mice carrying a homozygous knockout (KO) of the Surf1 gene showed a significant decrease in mitochondrial electron transport chain Complex IV activity, yet displayed increased lifespan and reduced brain damage after excitotoxic insults. In the present study, we examined brain metabolism, brain hemodynamics, and memory of Surf1 KO mice using in vitro measures of mitochondrial function, in vivo neuroimaging, and behavioral testing. We show that decreased respiration and increased generation of hydrogen peroxide in isolated Surf1 KO brain mitochondria are associated with increased brain glucose metabolism, cerebral blood flow, and lactate levels, and with enhanced memory in Surf1 KO mice. These metabolic and functional changes in Surf1 KO brains were accompanied by higher levels of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha, and by increases in the activated form of cyclic AMP response element-binding factor, which is integral to memory formation. These findings suggest that Surf1 deficiency-induced metabolic alterations may have positive effects on brain function. Exploring the relationship between mitochondrial activity, oxidative stress, and brain function will enhance our understanding of cognitive aging and of age-related neurologic disorders.
PMCID: PMC3790931  PMID: 23838831
glucose metabolism; memory; mitochondrial complex IV; mitochondrial dysfunction; Surf1
8.  Oxidative damage associated with obesity is prevented by overexpression of CuZn- or Mn-superoxide dismutase 
The development of insulin resistance is the primary step in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. There are several risk factors associated with insulin resistance, yet the basic biological mechanisms that promote its development are still unclear. There is growing literature that suggests mitochondrial dysfunction and/or oxidative stress play prominent roles in defects in glucose metabolism. Here, we tested whether increased expression of CuZn-superoxide dismutase (Sod1) or Mn-superoxide dismutase (Sod2) prevented obesity-induced changes in oxidative stress and metabolism. Both Sod1 and Sod2 overexpressing mice were protected from high fat diet-induced glucose intolerance. Lipid oxidation (F2-isoprostanes) was significantly increased in muscle and adipose with high fat feeding. Mice with increased expression of either Sod1 or Sod2 showed a significant reduction in this oxidative damage. Surprisingly, mitochondria from the muscle of high fat diet-fed mice showed no significant alteration in function. Together, our data suggest that targeting reduced oxidative damage in general may be a more applicable therapeutic target to prevent insulin resistance than by improving mitochondrial function.
PMCID: PMC3768142  PMID: 23872067
diabetes; mitochondria; F2-isoprostane; oxidative stress
9.  Mitochondrial stress signaling in longevity: A new role for mitochondrial function in aging 
Redox Biology  2014;2:936-944.
Mitochondria are principal regulators of cellular function and metabolism through production of ATP for energy homeostasis, maintenance of calcium homeostasis, regulation of apoptosis and fatty acid oxidation to provide acetyl CoA for fueling the electron transport chain. In addition, mitochondria play a key role in cell signaling through production of reactive oxygen species that modulate redox signaling. Recent findings support an additional mechanism for control of cellular and tissue function by mitochondria through complex mitochondrial–nuclear communication mechanisms and potentially through extracellular release of mitochondrial components that can act as signaling molecules. The activation of stress responses including mitophagy, mitochondrial number, fission and fusion events, and the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRMT) requires mitochondrial–nuclear communication for the transcriptional activation of nuclear genes involved in mitochondrial quality control and metabolism. The induction of these signaling pathways is a shared feature in long-lived organisms spanning from yeast to mice. As a result, the role of mitochondrial stress signaling in longevity has been expansively studied. Current and exciting studies provide evidence that mitochondria can also signal among tissues to up-regulate cytoprotective activities to promote healthy aging. Alternatively, mitochondria release signals to modulate innate immunity and systemic inflammatory responses and could consequently promote inflammation during aging. In this review, established and emerging models of mitochondrial stress response pathways and their potential role in modulating longevity are discussed.
Graphical abstract
•Activation of mitochondrial stress responses is associated with longevity.•Mitochondria release signals to induce expression of quality control genes.•Mitochondria can mediate stress signaling between tissues.
PMCID: PMC4143811  PMID: 25180170
Mitochondria; Longevity; Retrograde response; Mitochondrial unfolded protein response; Mitochondrial signaling
10.  Dietary restriction attenuates the accelerated aging phenotype of Sod1−/− mice 
Dietary restriction is a powerful aging intervention that extends the life span of diverse biological species ranging from yeast to invertebrates to mammals, and it has been argued that the anti-aging action of dietary restriction occurs through reduced oxidative stress/damage. Using Sod1−/− mice, which have previously been shown to have increased levels of oxidative stress associated with a shorter life span and a high incidence of neoplasia, we were able to test directly the ability of dietary restriction to reverse an aging phenotype due to increased oxidative stress/damage. We found that dietary restriction increased the life span of Sod1−/− mice 30%, returning it to that of wild type, control mice fed ad libitum. Oxidative damage in Sod1−/− mice was markedly reduced by dietary restriction, as indicated by a reduction in liver and brain F2-isoprostanes, a marker of lipid peroxidation. Analysis of end of life pathology showed that dietary restriction significantly reduced the overall incidence of pathological lesions in the Sod1−/− mice fed the dietary restricted-diet compared to Sod1−/− mice fed ad libitum, including the incidence of lymphoma (27 vs 5%) and overall liver pathology. In addition to reduced incidence of overall and liver specific pathology, the burden and severity of both neoplastic and non-neoplastic lesions was also significantly reduced in the Sod1−/− mice fed the dietary restricted-diet. These data demonstrate that dietary restriction can significantly attenuate the accelerated aging phenotype observed in Sod1−/− mice that arises from increased oxidative stress/damage.
PMCID: PMC3696984  PMID: 23459073
dietary restriction; aging oxidative stress; CuZnSOD
11.  The Lack of CuZnSOD Leads to Impaired Neurotransmitter Release, Neuromuscular Junction Destabilization and Reduced Muscle Strength in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100834.
Elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and ROS-dependent protein damage is a common observation in the pathogenesis of many muscle wasting disorders, including sarcopenia. However, the contribution of elevated ROS levels to –a breakdown in neuromuscular communication and muscle atrophy remains unknown. In this study, we examined a copper zinc superoxide dismutase [CuZnSOD (Sod1)] knockout mouse (Sod1−/−), a mouse model of elevated oxidative stress that exhibits accelerated loss of muscle mass, which recapitulates many phenotypes of sarcopenia as early as 5 months of age. We found that young adult Sod1−/− mice display a considerable reduction in hind limb skeletal muscle mass and strength when compared to age-matched wild-type mice. These changes are accompanied by gross alterations in neuromuscular junction (NMJ) morphology, including reduced occupancy of the motor endplates by axons, terminal sprouting and axon thinning and irregular swelling. Surprisingly however, the average density of acetylcholine receptors in endplates is preserved. Using in vivo electromyography and ex vivo electrophysiological studies of hind limb muscles in Sod1−/− mice, we found that motor axons innervating the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and gastrocnemius muscles release fewer synaptic vesicles upon nerve stimulation. Recordings from individually identified EDL NMJs show that reductions in neurotransmitter release are apparent in the Sod1−/− mice even when endplates are close to fully innervated. However, electrophysiological properties, such as input resistance, resting membrane potential and spontaneous neurotransmitter release kinetics (but not frequency) are similar between EDL muscles of Sod1−/− and wild-type mice. Administration of the potassium channel blocker 3,4-diaminopyridine, which broadens the presynaptic action potential, improves both neurotransmitter release and muscle strength. Together, these results suggest that ROS-associated motor nerve terminal dysfunction is a contributor to the observed muscle changes in Sod1−/− mice.
PMCID: PMC4074103  PMID: 24971750
12.  Increased mitochondrial matrix directed superoxide production by fatty acid hydroperoxides in skeletal muscle mitochondria 
Free radical biology & medicine  2010;50(5):592-601.
Previous studies have shown that muscle atrophy is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and an increased rate of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production. We recently demonstrated that fatty acid hydroperoxides (FA-OOH) are significantly elevated in mitochondria isolated from atrophied muscles. The purpose of the current study is to determine whether FA-OOH can alter skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. We found that FA-OOH (at low micromolar concentrations) induces mitochondrial dysfunction assessed by decrease in the rate of ATP production, oxygen consumption and activity of respiratory chain complexes I and III. Using methods to distinguish superoxide release towards the matrix and inter-membrane space, we demonstrate that FA-OOH significantly elevates oxidative stress in the mitochondrial matrix (and not the inter-membrane space) with complex I as the major site of superoxide production (most likely from a site upstream of the ubiquinone binding site but downstream from the flavin binding site-the iron sulfur clusters). Our results are the first to indicate that FA-OOH’s are important modulators of mitochondrial function and oxidative stress in skeletal muscle mitochondria and may play an important role in muscle atrophies that are associated with increased generation of FA-OOH’s, e.g., denervation-induced muscle atrophy.
PMCID: PMC4017321  PMID: 21172427
Oxidative stress; superoxide; fatty acid hydroperoxides; hydrogen peroxide; mitochondria
13.  Dietary restriction attenuates age-associated muscle atrophy by lowering oxidative stress in mice even in complete absence of CuZnSOD 
Aging cell  2012;11(5):770-782.
Age-related loss of muscle mass and function, sarcopenia, has a major impact on the quality of life in the elderly. Among the proposed causes of sarcopenia are mitochondrial dysfunction and accumulated oxidative damage during aging. Dietary restriction (DR), a robust dietary intervention that extends lifespan and modulates age-related pathology in a variety of species has been shown to protect from sarcopenia in rodents. Although the mechanism(s) by which DR modulates aging are still not defined, one potential mechanism is through modulation of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. To directly test the protective effect of DR against oxidative stress induced muscle atrophy in vivo, we subjected mice lacking a key antioxidant enzyme, CuZnSOD (Sod1) to DR (40% of ad libitum fed diet). We have previously shown that the Sod1−/− mice exhibit an acceleration of sarcopenia associated with high oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and severe neuromuscular innervation defects. Despite the dramatic atrophy phenotype in the Sod1−/− mice, DR led to a reversal or attenuation of reduced muscle function, loss of innervation and muscle atrophy in these mice. DR improves mitochondrial function as evidenced by enhanced Ca2+ regulation and reduction of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, we show upregulation of SIRT3 and MnSOD in DR animals, consistent with reduced mitochondrial oxidative stress and reduced oxidative damage in muscle tissue measured as F2- isoprostanes. Collectively, our results demonstrate that DR is a powerful mediator of mitochondrial function, mitochondrial ROS production, and oxidative damage, providing a solid protection against oxidative stress induced neuromuscular defects and muscle atrophy in vivo even under conditions of high oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3444532  PMID: 22672615
14.  Rapamycin Modulates Markers of Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Fatty Acid Oxidation in the Adipose Tissue of db/db Mice 
Excess nutrient uptake leads to obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR), a major component of the nutrient-sensing pathway also regulates mitochondrial oxidative function. Rapamycin, a pharmacological inhibitor of mTOR, causes glucose intolerance and inhibits mitochondrial oxidative function. While a number of studies have focused on the effect of rapamycin on control wild-type mice, ours is the first to study the effect of rapamycin on mitochondrial gene expression and insulin sensitivity in the db/db mouse, a model of diabetic dyslipidemia. Female db/+ and db/db mice were fed ad libitum a rapamycin-containing diet or a control diet for 6 months, starting at two months of age. Body weight, fat mass, lean mass and food intake were measured monthly. Effect of rapamycin or control diet on markers of adipogenesis, fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial biogenesis in the gonadal white adipose tissue (WAT) as well as different serum parameters were assessed. Whole body insulin sensitivity was measured by insulin tolerance test. Rapamycin feeding to db/db mice decreased body weight (58%) and fat mass (33%), elevated markers of fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial biogenesis in WAT, reduced circulating non-esterified free fatty acids (NEFA), elevated circulating adiponectin and improved insulin sensitivity, compared to control diet fed db/db mice. These data demonstrate that rapamycin exhibits an anti-obesity effect and improves whole body insulin sensitivity in db/db mice and suggest an unexpected effect of simultaneous inhibition mTOR and leptin signaling in mice.
PMCID: PMC3760510  PMID: 24010023
mitochondria; insulin sensitivity; fat oxidation; db/db mouse; obesity
15.  Complex I generated, mitochondrial matrix-directed superoxide is released from the mitochondria through voltage dependent anion channels 
Mitochondrial complex I has previously been shown to release superoxide exclusively towards the mitochondrial matrix, whereas complex III releases superoxide to both the matrix and the cytosol. Superoxide produced at Complex III has been shown to exit the mitochondria through voltage dependent anion channels (VDAC). To test whether complex I-derived, mitochondrial matrix-directed superoxide can be released to the cytosol, we measured superoxide generation in mitochondria isolated from wild type and from mice genetically altered to be deficient in MnSOD activity (TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl). Under experimental conditions that produce superoxide primarily by complex I (glutamate/malate plus rotenone, GM+R), MnSOD-deficient mitochondria release ~4-fold more superoxide than mitochondria isolated from wild type mice. Exogenous CuZnSOD completely abolished the EPR-derived GM+R signal in mitochondria isolated from both genotypes, evidence that confirms mitochondrial superoxide release. Addition of the VDAC inhibitor DIDS significantly reduced mitochondrial superoxide release (~75%) in mitochondria from either genotype respiring on GM+R. Conversely, inhibition of potential inner membrane sites of superoxide exit, including the matrix face of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore and the inner membrane anion channel did not reduce mitochondrial superoxide release in the presence of GM+R in mitochondria isolated from either genotype. These data support the concept that complex I-derived mitochondrial superoxide release does indeed occur and that the majority of this release occurs through VDACs.
PMCID: PMC3400138  PMID: 22613204
mitochondria; superoxide; voltage dependent anion channels
16.  Elevated Protein Carbonylation, and Misfolding in Sciatic Nerve from db/db and Sod1−/− Mice: Plausible Link between Oxidative Stress and Demyelination 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e65725.
Diabetic peripheral polyneuropathy is associated with decrements in motor/sensory neuron myelination, nerve conduction and muscle function; however, the mechanisms of reduced myelination in diabetes are poorly understood. Chronic elevation of oxidative stress may be one of the potential determinants for demyelination as lipids and proteins are important structural constituents of myelin and highly susceptible to oxidation. The goal of the current study was to determine whether there is a link between protein oxidation/misfolding and demyelination. We chose two distinct models to test our hypothesis: 1) the leptin receptor deficient mouse (dbdb) model of diabetic polyneuropathy and 2) superoxide dismutase 1 knockout (Sod1−/−) mouse model of in vivo oxidative stress. Both experimental models displayed a significant decrement in nerve conduction, increase in tail distal motor latency as well as reduced myelin thickness and fiber/axon diameter. Further biochemical studies demonstrated that oxidative stress is likely to be a potential key player in the demyelination process as both models exhibited significant elevation in protein carbonylation and alterations in protein conformation. Since peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22) is a key component of myelin sheath and has been found mutated and aggregated in several peripheral neuropathies, we predicted that an increase in carbonylation and aggregation of PMP22 may be associated with demyelination in dbdb mice. Indeed, PMP22 was found to be carbonylated and aggregated in sciatic nerves of dbdb mice. Sequence-driven hydropathy plot analysis and in vitro oxidation-induced aggregation of purified PMP22 protein supported the premise for oxidation-dependent aggregation of PMP22 in dbdb mice. Collectively, these data strongly suggest for the first time that oxidation-mediated protein misfolding and aggregation of key myelin proteins may be linked to demyelination and reduced nerve conduction in peripheral neuropathies.
PMCID: PMC3672154  PMID: 23750273
17.  Oxidative stress and diabetes: what can we learn about insulin resistance from antioxidant mutant mouse models? 
The development of metabolic dysfunctions like diabetes and insulin resistance in mammals is regulated by a myriad of factors. Oxidative stress seems to play a central role in this process as recent evidence shows a general increase in oxidative damage and a decrease in oxidative defense associated with several metabolic diseases. These changes in oxidative stress can be directly correlated with increased fat accumulation, obesity and consumption of high calorie/high fat diets. Modulation of oxidant protection through either genetic mutation or treatment with antioxidants can significantly alter oxidative stress resistance and accumulation of oxidative damage in laboratory rodents. Antioxidant mutant mice have previously been utilized to examine the role of oxidative stress in other disease models, but have been relatively unexplored as models to study the regulation of glucose metabolism. In this review, we will discuss the evidence for oxidative stress as a primary mechanism linking obesity and metabolic disorders and whether alteration of antioxidant status in laboratory rodents can significantly alter the development of insulin resistance or diabetes.
PMCID: PMC3249484  PMID: 22056908
oxidative stress; diabetes; obesity; adipose; insulin resistance
18.  Thioredoxin 1 Overexpression Extends Mainly the Earlier Part of Life Span in Mice 
We examined the effects of increased levels of thioredoxin 1 (Trx1) on resistance to oxidative stress and aging in transgenic mice overexpressing Trx1 [Tg(TRX1)+/0]. The Tg(TRX1)+/0 mice showed significantly higher Trx1 protein levels in all the tissues examined compared with the wild-type littermates. Oxidative damage to proteins and levels of lipid peroxidation were significantly lower in the livers of Tg(TRX1)+/0 mice compared with wild-type littermates. The survival study demonstrated that male Tg(TRX1)+/0 mice significantly extended the earlier part of life span compared with wild-type littermates, but no significant life extension was observed in females. Neither male nor female Tg(TRX1)+/0 mice showed changes in maximum life span. Our findings suggested that the increased levels of Trx1 in the Tg(TRX1)+/0 mice were correlated to increased resistance to oxidative stress, which could be beneficial in the earlier part of life span but not the maximum life span in the C57BL/6 mice.
PMCID: PMC3210956  PMID: 21873593
Thioredoxin; Transgenic mouse; Oxidative stress; Protein carbonylation; Aging
19.  Loss of manganese superoxide dismutase leads to abnormal growth and signal transduction in mouse embryonic fibroblasts 
Free radical biology & medicine  2010;49(8):1255-1262.
Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) in the mitochondria plays an important role in cellular defense against oxidative damage. Homozygous MnSOD knockout (Sod2−/−) mice are neonatal lethal, indicating the essential role of MnSOD in early development. To investigate the potential cellular abnormalities underlying the aborted development of Sod2−/− mice, we examined the growth of isolated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) from Sod2−/− mice. We found that the proliferation of Sod2−/− MEFs was significantly decreased when compared with wild type MEFs despite the absence of morphological differences. The Sod2−/− MEFs produced less cellular ATP, had lower O2 consumption, generated more superoxide, and expressed less Prdx3 protein. Furthermore, the loss of MnSOD dramatically altered several markers involved in cell proliferation and growth, including decreased growth stimulatory function of mTOR signaling and enhanced growth inhibitory function of GSK-3β signaling. Interestingly, the G protein coupled receptor-mediated intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) signal transduction was also severely suppressed in Sod2−/− MEFs. Finally, the ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I, an index of autophagic activity, was increased in Sod2−/− MEFs, consistent with a reduction of mTOR signal transduction. These data demonstrate that MnSOD deficiency results in alterations in several key signaling pathways, which may contribute to the lethal phenotype of Sod2−/− mice.
PMCID: PMC3418666  PMID: 20638473
MnSOD; oxidative stress; ROS; signal transduction
20.  Reduction in Reactive Oxygen Species Production by Mitochondria From Elderly Subjects With Normal and Impaired Glucose Tolerance 
Diabetes  2011;60(8):2051-2060.
Aging increases the risk of developing impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and type 2 diabetes. It has been proposed that increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by dysfunctional mitochondria could play a role in the pathogenesis of these metabolic abnormalities. We examined whether aging per se (in subjects with normal glucose tolerance [NGT]) impairs mitochondrial function and how this relates to ROS generation, whether older subjects with IGT have a further worsening of mitochondrial function (lower ATP production and elevated ROS generation), and whether exercise reverses age-related changes in mitochondrial function.
Mitochondrial ATP and ROS production were measured in muscle from younger individuals with NGT, older individuals with NGT, and older individuals with IGT. Measurements were performed before and after 16 weeks of aerobic exercise.
ATP synthesis was lower in older subjects with NGT and older subjects with IGT versus younger subjects. Notably, mitochondria from older subjects (with NGT and IGT) displayed reduced ROS production versus the younger group. ATP and ROS production were similar between older groups. Exercise increased ATP synthesis in the three groups. Mitochondrial ROS production also increased after training. Proteomic analysis revealed downregulation of several electron transport chain proteins with aging, and this was reversed by exercise.
Old mitochondria from subjects with NGT and IGT display mitochondrial dysfunction as manifested by reduced ATP production but not with respect to increased ROS production. When adjusted to age, the development of IGT in elderly individuals does not involve changes in mitochondrial ATP and ROS production. Lastly, exercise reverses the mitochondrial phenotype (proteome and function) of old mitochondria.
PMCID: PMC3142073  PMID: 21677280
21.  Overexpression of human SOD1 improves survival of mice susceptible to endotoxic shock 
Protective effects of the antioxidant enzyme Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) against endotoxic shock have not been demonstrated in animal models. We used a murine model to investigate whether overexpression of SOD1 protects against endotoxic shock, and whether the genetic background of SOD1 affects its effective protective effects and susceptibility to endotoxic shock.
Transgenic (tg) mice overexpressing human SOD1 and control mice were divided into four groups based on their genetic background: (1) tg mice with mixed genetic background (tg-JAX); (2) wild-type (WT) littermates of tg-JAX strain (WT-JAX); (3) tg mice with C57BL/6J background (tg-TX); (4) WT littermates of tg-TX strain (WT-TX). Activity of SOD1 in the intestine, heart, and liver of tg and control mice was confirmed using a polyacrylamide activity gel. Endotoxic shock was induced by intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide. Survival rates over 120 hours (mean, 95% confidence interval) were analyzed using Kaplan–Meier survival curves.
Human SOD1 enzymatic activities were significantly higher in the intestine, heart, and liver of both tg strains (tg-JAX and tg-TX) compared with their WT littermates (WT-JAX and WT-TX, respectively). Interestingly, the endogenous SOD1 activities in tg-JAX mice were decreased compared with their WT littermates (WT-JAX), but such aberrant changes were not observed in tg-TX mice. There was no difference in the survival time between tg-JAX and WT-JAX groups after endotoxic shock (P > 0.05). However, the survival time in the tg-TX group was more than twofold longer than that in the WT-TX group (P < 0.05). In addition, WT-JAX mice survived significantly longer than WT-TX mice (P < 0.05).
Aberrant decrease of endogenous SOD1 activities may have overshadowed the effect of overexpression of SOD1 in tg mice (tg-JAX). Mice with C57BL/6J background (tg-TX) are more susceptible to lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxic shock than those with mixed genetic background (tg-JAX). Overexpression of SOD1 is protective only in mice with C57BL/6J background (tg-TX).
PMCID: PMC3413208  PMID: 22879777
human SOD1 enzyme; endotoxic shock; transgenic mice; protective effect
22.  MnSOD deficiency results in elevated oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial function but does not lead to muscle atrophy during aging 
Aging cell  2011;10(3):493-505.
In a previous study, we reported that a deficiency in MnSOD activity (approximately 80% reduction) targeted to type IIB skeletal muscle fibers was sufficient to elevate oxidative stress and to reduce muscle function in young adult mice (TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice). In the present study, we used TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice to examine the effect of elevated oxidative stress on mitochondrial function and to test the hypothesis that elevated oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial function over the lifespan of the TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice would be sufficient to accelerate muscle atrophy associated with aging. We found that mitochondrial function is reduced in both young and old TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice, when compared with control mice. Complex II activity is reduced by 47% in young and by ~90% in old TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice, associated with reduced levels of the catalytic subunits for complex II, SDHA and SDHB. Complex II-linked mitochondrial respiration is reduced by approximately 70% in young TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice. Complex II-linked mitochondrial ATP production is reduced by 39% in young and was found to be almost completely absent in old TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice. Furthermore, in old TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice, aconitase activity is almost completely abolished; mitochondrial superoxide release remains greater than 2-fold elevated; and oxidative damage (measured as F2 isoprostanes) is increased by 30% relative to age-matched controls. These data show that despite elevated skeletal muscle-specific mitochondrial oxidative stress, oxidative damage and complex II-linked mitochondrial dysfunction, age-related muscle atrophy was not accelerated in old TnIFastCreSod2fl/fl mice, suggesting mitochondrial oxidative stress may not be causal for age-related muscle atrophy.
PMCID: PMC3094473  PMID: 21385310
23.  Transcriptional profiling of the age-related response to genotoxic stress points to differential DNA damage response with age 
The p53 DNA damage response attenuated with age and we have evaluated downstream factors in the DNA damage response. In old animals p21 protein accumulates in the whole cell fraction but significantly declines in the nucleus, which may alter cell cycle and apoptotic programs in response to DNA damage. We evaluated the transcriptional response to DNA damage in young and old and find 2692 genes are differentially regulated in old compared to young in response to oxidative stress (p<0.005). As anticipated, the transcriptional profile of young mice is consistent with DNA damage induced cell cycle arrest while the profile of old mice is consistent with cell cycle progression in the presence of DNA damage, suggesting the potential for catastrophic accumulation of DNA damage at the replication fork. Unique sets of DNA repair genes are induced in response to damage in old and young, suggesting the types of damage accumulating differs between young and old. The DNA repair genes upregulated in old animals point to accumulation of replication-dependent DNA double strand breaks (DSB). Expression data is consistent with loss of apoptosis following DNA damage in old animals. These data suggest DNA damage responses differ greatly in young and old animals.
PMCID: PMC3285901  PMID: 19679149
24.  Age-associated alterations of neuromuscular junction 
Experimental gerontology  2010;46(2-3):193-198.
Age-related loss of muscle mass and function greatly affects quality of life in the elderly population. Several hypotheses have been proposed but accumulating evidence point to alterations in neuromuscular system during aging as a key event that leads to functional denervation, muscle wasting, and weakness. Over the past few decades, age-associated degeneration of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and its components have been well documented. With advancing age, pre-terminal portions of motor axons exhibit regions of abnormal thinning, distension, and sprouting whereas postsynaptic endplates decrease in size, reduce in number, length, and density of postsynaptic folds. Although the exact underlying mechanisms are still lacking, recent studies provided direct evidence that age-associated increase in oxidative stress plays a crucial role in NMJ degeneration and progression of sarcopenia. Homozygous deletion of an important antioxidant enzyme, Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD, SOD1) leads to acceleration of age-dependent muscle atrophy, with a significant NMJ degeneration similar to that seen in old wild type sarcopenic animals. In this short review, we briefly summarize the current understanding of some of the cellular and molecular changes in the NMJ during aging and suggest a role for oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in age-related changes in the maintenance of neuromuscular innervation.
PMCID: PMC3026920  PMID: 20854887
25.  Reduction of glucose intolerance with high fat feeding is associated with anti-inflammatory effects of thioredoxin 1 overexpression in mice 
Pathobiology of Aging & Age Related Diseases  2012;2:10.3402/pba.v2i0.17101.
Aging is associated with reduced ability to maintain normal glucose homeostasis. It has been suggested that an age-associated increase in chronic pro-inflammatory state could drive this reduction in glucoregulatory function. Thioredoxins (Trx) are oxido-reductase enzymes that play an important role in the regulation of oxidative stress and inflammation. In this study, we tested whether overexpression of Trx1 in mice [Tg(TRX1)+/0] could protect from glucose metabolism dysfunction caused by high fat diet feeding. Body weight and fat mass gains with high fat feeding were similar in Tg(TRX1)+/0 and wild-type mice; however, high fat diet induced glucose intolerance was reduced in Tg(TRX1)+/0 mice relative to wild-type mice. In addition, expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α was reduced in adipose tissue of Tg(TRX1)+/0 mice compared to wild-type mice. These findings suggest that activation of thioredoxins may be a potential therapeutic target for maintenance of glucose metabolism with obesity or aging.
PMCID: PMC3417639  PMID: 22953037
oxidative stress; diabetes; obesity; glucose homeostasis; aging

Results 1-25 (41)