Under oxidative stress conditions, mitochondria are the major site for cellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide anion and H2O2 that can attack numerous mitochondrial proteins including dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLDH). While DLDH is known to be vulnerable to oxidative inactivation, the mechanisms have not been clearly elucidated. The present study was therefore designed to investigate the mechanisms of DLDH oxidative inactivation by mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mitochondria, isolated from rat brain, were incubated with mitochondrial respiratory substrates such as pyruvate/malate or succinate in the presence of electron transport chain inhibitors such as rotenone or antimycin A. This is followed by enzyme activity assay and gel-based proteomic analysis. The present study also examined whether ROS-induced DLDH oxidative inactivation could be reversed by reducing reagents such as DTT, cysteine, and glutathione. Results show that DLDH could only be inactivated by complex III- but not complex I-derived ROS; and the accompanying loss of activity due to the inactivation could be restored by cysteine and glutathione, indicating that DLDH oxidative inactivation by complex III-derived ROS was a reversible process. Further studies using catalase indicate that it was H2O2 instead of superoxide anion that was responsible for DLDH inactivation. Moreover, using sulfenic acid-specific labeling techniques in conjunction with two-dimensional Western blot analysis, we show that protein sulfenic acid formation (also known as sulfenation) was associated with the loss of DLDH enzymatic activity observed under our experimental conditions. Additionally, such oxidative modification was shown to be associated with preventing DLDH from further inactivation by the thiol-reactive reagent N-ethylmaleimide. Taken together, the present study provides insights into the mechanisms of DLDH oxidative inactivation by mitochondrial H2O2.
brain; dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase; H2O2; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; reversible inactivation; sulfenic acid; sulfenation
Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant that acts at the GABAA receptor. Concerns about the abuse liability of carisoprodol are increasing, but evidence that carisoprodol produces tolerance and a significant withdrawal syndrome has yet to be established. The purpose of the current study was to determine if repeated administration of carisoprodol produces tolerance and withdrawal signs in a mouse model.
Carisoprodol (0, 100, 200, 300, or 500 mg/kg bid, i.p.) was administered to Swiss-Webster mice for 4 days and loss-of-righting reflex was measured 20 to 30 minutes following each administration. On the fourth day, bemegride (20 mg/kg), flumazenil (20 mg/kg), or vehicle was administered following carisoprodol and withdrawal signs were measured. Separate groups of mice receiving the same treatment regimen and dose range were tested for spontaneous withdrawal at 6, 12 and 24 hr after the last dose of carisoprodol.
The righting reflex was dose-dependently impaired following the first administration of carisoprodol. A 75 to 100% decrease in the magnitude of the impairment occurred over the four days of exposure, indicating the development of tolerance to the carisoprodol-elicited loss-of-righting reflex. Withdrawal signs were not observed within 24 hours following spontaneous withdrawal; however, bemegride and flumazenil each precipitated withdrawal within 15 to 30 min of administration.
Carisoprodol treatment resulted in tolerance and antagonist-precipitated withdrawal, suggesting it may have an addiction potential similar to that of other long-acting benzodiazepine or barbiturate compounds.
tolerance; precipitated withdrawal; carisoprodol; GABAA receptor; barbiturate site; benzodiazepine site; bemegride; flumazenil; mouse
The hypothesis that life span extension by caloric restriction (CR) is contingent upon the attenuation of macromolecular oxidative damage was tested in two different strains of mice: the C57BL/6, whose life span is extended by CR, and the DBA/2, in which CR has relatively minor or no impact on longevity. Mice were fed ad libitum (AL) or restricted to 40% lesser food, starting at 4 months of age. Protein damage was measured as protein-linked adducts of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in skeletal muscle mitochondria at 6- and 23-months of age. Protein-HNE and -MDA content increased with age in C57BL/6 mice and CR significantly attenuated these augmentations. Metalloprotease 1, NADP-dependent mitochondrial malic enzyme (isoform 2) and citrate synthase were identified by mass spectroscopy to contain HNE/MDA adducts. DBA/2 mice exhibited little effect of age or CR on protein HNE/MDA content in skeletal muscle mitochondria. In contrast, protein-HNE levels in liver mitochondria showed a significant increase with age in AL-fed mice of both strains, and CR caused significant attenuation of this damage. Overall, results indicated that the age-related increase in protein oxidative damage and its abatement by CR are genotype- and tissue- specific, and not a universal phenomenon.
HNE-protein conjugates; oxidative stress; protein oxidative damage; mitochondrial proteins; food restriction
Dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLDH) is a key component of 3 mitochondrial α-keto acid dehydrogenase complexes including pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, and branched chain amino acid dehydrogenase complex. It is a pyridine-dependent disulfide oxidoreductase that is very sensitive to oxidative modifications by reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanisms of DLDH modification by RNS derived from Angeli’s salt. Studies were conducted using isolated rat brain mitochondria that were incubated with varying concentrations of Angeli’s salt followed by spectrophotometric enzyme assays, blue native gel analysis, and 2-dimensional gel-based proteomic approaches. Results show that DLDH could be inactivated by Angeli’s salt in a concentration dependent manner and the inactivation was a targeting rather than a random process as peroxynitrite did not show any detectable inhibitory effect on the enzyme’s activity under the same experimental conditions. Since Angeli’s salt can readily decompose at physiological pH to yield nitroxyl anion (HNO) and nitric oxide, further studies were conducted to determine the actual RNS that was responsible for DLDH inactivation. Results indicate that it was HNO that exerted the effect of Angeli’s salt on DLDH. Finally, two-dimensional Western blot analysis indicates that DLDH inactivation by Angeli’s salt was accompanied by formation of protein s-nitrosothiols, suggesting that s-nitrosylation is likely the cause of loss in enzyme’s activity. Taken together, the present study provides insights into mechanisms of DLDH inactivation induced by HNO derived from Angeli’s salt.
Angeli’s salt; brain; dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase; mitochondria; nitroxyl anion (HNO); S-nitrosylation
There is increasing concern about abuse of propofol, a widely-used surgical anesthetic and sedative that is currently not a controlled substance. The purpose of the present study was to establish a rat model of the psychoactive effect of sub-anesthetic doses of propofol that could be useful for confirming abuse liability and studying mechanisms of propofol abuse. Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate propofol (10 mg/kg, i.p.) from vehicle (2% methylcellulose). Carisoprodol (100 mg/kg), chlordiazepoxide (10 mg/kg) and dizocilpine (0.1 mg/kg) were tested for substitution for the discriminative-stimulus effects of propofol (10 mg/kg), whereas pentylenetetrazol (10 mg/kg) was tested for antagonism of the discriminative-stimulus effects. Propofol (10 mg/kg) was tested for substitution in rats trained to discriminate carisoprodol from vehicle. Carisoprodol produced 59% propofol-appropriate responding, chlordiazepoxide 65%, and dizocilpine 34%. Pentylenetetrazol decreased propofol-appropriate responding to 41%. Propofol produced 52% carisoprodol-appropriate responding. Mortality rate during training of 10 mg/kg propofol was 38%. Post-mortem examination revealed cardiovascular abnormalities similar to those observed in propofol-infusion syndrome in humans. The results demonstrate that propofol can be trained as a discriminative stimulus. Its discriminative-stimulus effects were more similar to compounds promoting GABA-A receptor activity than to a compound inhibiting NMDA receptor activity. Because propofol has discriminative-stimulus effects similar to known drugs of abuse and occasions a high mortality rate, its potential for continued abuse is of particular concern.
discrimination learning; stimulus generalization; propofol; GABA-A receptor; rat
The hypothesis that the life-extending effect of caloric restriction (CR) is associated with an attenuation of the age-related pro-oxidant shift in the thiol redox state was tested employing a novel experimental design. Amounts of GSH, GSSG and protein mixed disulfides (Pr-SSG) in the skeletal muscle and liver were compared between two strains of mice, which have similar life spans when fed ad libitum (AL), however, under the standard CR regimen, life span of only one strain, C57BL/6, is extended, whereas it remains unaffected in the other strain, DBA/2. Mice were fed AL or 40% less food starting at 4 months and compared at 6 and 24 months of age. The amounts of GSSG and Pr-SSG increased and the GSH:GSSG ratios decreased with age in both strains of AL-fed mice. CR prevented these age-related changes in the C57BL/6, whose life span is extended by CR, but not in the DBA/2 mice, in which it remains unaffected. CR enhanced the activity of glutamate cysteine ligase in the C57BL/6, but not in the DBA/2 mice. Results suggest that longevity extension by CR may be associated with the attenuation of age-related pro-oxidizing shifts in the thiol redox state.
aging; dietary restriction; redox state; mixed protein disulfides; glutathione
Protein carbonylation is a major form of protein oxidation and is widely used as an indicator of oxidative stress. Carbonyl groups do not have distinguishing UV or visible, spectrophotometric absorbance/fluorescence characteristics and thus their detection and quantification can only be achieved using specific chemical probes. In this paper, we review the advantages and disadvantages of several chemical probes that have been and are still being used for protein carbonyl analysis. These probes include 2, 4-dinitrophenylhydazine (DNPH), tritiated sodium borohydride ([3H]NaBH4), biotin-containing probes, and fluorescence probes. As our discussions lean toward gel-based approaches, utilizations of these probes in 2D gel-based proteomic analysis of carbonylated proteins are illustrated where applicable. Analysis of carbonylated proteins by ELISA, immunofluorescent imaging, near infrared fluorescence detection, and gel-free proteomic approaches are also discussed where appropriate. Additionally, potential applications of blue native gel electrophoresis as a tool for first dimensional separation in 2D gel-based analysis of carbonylated proteins are discussed as well.
Biotin; carbonylation; carbonyls; carbonylated; chemical probes; infrared fluorescence; oxidative stress; proteomics; tritiated sodium borohydride
Long-term caloric restriction (CR) has been repeatedly shown to increase life span and delay the onset of age-associated pathologies in laboratory mice and rats. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether the CR-associated increase in life span occurs in all strains of mice or only in some genotypes and whether the effects of CR and ad libitum (AL) feeding on mortality accrue gradually or are rapidly inducible and reversible. In one experiment, groups of male C57BL/6, DBA/2, and B6D2F1 mice were fed AL or CR (60% of AL) diets beginning at 4 months of age until death. In the companion study, separate groups of mice were maintained chronically on AL or CR regimens until 7, 17, or 22–24 months of age, after which, half of each AL and CR group was switched to the opposite regimen for 11 wk. This procedure yielded four experimental groups for each genotype, namely AL→AL, AL→CR, CR→CR, and CR→AL, designated according to long-term and short-term caloric regimen, respectively. Long-term CR resulted in increased median and maximum life span in C57BL/6 and B6D2F1 mice but failed to affect either parameter in the DBA/2 mice. The shift from AL→CR increased mortality in 17- and 24-month-old mice, whereas the shift from CR→AL did not significantly affect mortality of any age group. Such increased risk of mortality following implementation of CR at older ages was evident in all three strains but was most dramatic in DBA/2 mice. Results of this study indicate that CR does not have beneficial effects in all strains of mice, and it increases rather than decreases mortality if initiated in advanced age.
caloric restriction; aging; C57BL/6; DBA/2; B6D2F1
The objective of the present study was to analyze serum protein complexes and detect serum esterase activities using nongradient blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE). For analysis of potential protein complexes, serum from rat was used. Results demonstrate that a total of 8 gel bands could be clearly distinguished after Coomassie blue staining, and serum albumin could be isolated nearly as a pure protein. Moreover, proteins in these bands were identified by electrospray mass spectrometry and low-energy collision induced dissociation (CID)-MS/MS peptide sequencing and the existence of serum dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLDH) was confirmed. For studies of in-gel detection of esterase activities, serum from rat, mouse, and human was used. In-gel staining of esterase activity was achieved by the use of either α-naphthylacetate or β-naphthylacetate in the presence of Fast blue BB salt. There were three bands exhibiting esterase activities in the serum of both rat and mouse. In contrast, there was only one band showing esterase activity staining in the human serum. When serum samples were treated with varying concentrations of urea, esterase activity staining was abolished for all the bands except the one containing esterase 1 (Es1) protein that is known to be a single polypeptide enzyme, indicating that majority of these esterases were protein complexes or multimeric proteins. We also identified the human serum esterase as butyrylcholinesterase following isolation and partial purification using ammonium sulfate fractioning and ion exchange column chromatographies. Where applicable, demonstrations of the gel-based method for measuring serum esterase activities under physiological or pathophysiological conditions were illustrated. Results of the present study demonstrate that nongradient BN-PAGE can serve as a feasible analytical tool for proteomic and enzymatic analysis of serum proteins.
Albumin; blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; butyrylcholinesterase; dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase; esterase; serum
Diagnosis and treatment of common conditions in morbidly obese patients still pose a challenge to physicians and surgeons. Sometimes too much reliance is put on investigations that can lead to a misdiagnosis. This case demonstrates an obese woman admitted under the medical team with a presumed diagnosis of pneumonia, who was later found to have an acute abdomen and raised amylase, which led to an assumed diagnosis of pancreatitis. She died within 24 h of admission and post mortem confirmed the cause of death as systemic sepsis due to perforated appendicitis, with no evidence of pancreatitis. Significantly elevated serum amylase level may occur in non-pancreatitic acute abdomen.
Morbid obesity; Perforated appendicitis; Pneumonia; Serum amylase
Data suggests that brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) plays a neuroadaptive role in addiction. Whether serum BDNF levels are different in alcohol or psychostimulants as a function of craving is unknown. Here, we examined craving and serum BDNF levels in persons with alcohol versus psychostimulant dependence. Our goals were to explore BDNF as an objective biomarker for 1) craving 2) abstinence, and 3) years of chronic substance use.
An exploratory, cross-sectional study was designed. Men and women between 20–65 years old with alcohol, cocaine, or methamphetamine dependence were eligible. A craving questionnaire was used to measure alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine cravings. Serum levels of BDNF were measured using enzyme linked immunoassay. Analysis of variance, chi-square, and correlations were performed using a 95% confidence interval and a significance level of P < 0.05.
We found a significant difference in the mean craving score among alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine dependent subjects. There were no significant influences of race, gender, psychiatric disorder or psychotropic medication on serum BDNF levels. We found that among psychostimulant users BDNF levels were significantly higher in men than in women when the number of abstinent days was statistically controlled. Further, a significant correlation between serum BDNF levels and the number of abstinent days since last psychostimulant use was found.
These data suggest that BDNF may be a biomarker of abstinence in psychostimulant dependent subjects and inform clinicians about treatment initiatives. The results are interpreted with caution due to small sample size and lack of a control group.
BDNF; alcohol; cocaine; methamphetamine; craving
There has been increased recreational use of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), but little is known of its discriminative stimulus effects.
The present study assessed the similarity of the discriminative stimulus effects of DMT to other types of hallucinogens and to psychostimulants.
Rats were trained to discriminate DMT from saline. To test the similarity of DMT to known hallucinogens, the ability of (+)-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), (−)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM), (+)-methamphetamine, or (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethyl-amphetamine (MDMA) to substitute in DMT-trained rats was tested. The ability of DMT to substitute in rats trained to discriminate each of these compounds was also tested. To assess the degree of similarity in discriminative stimulus effects, each of the compounds was tested for substitution in all of the other training groups.
LSD, DOM, and MDMA all fully substituted in DMT-trained rats, whereas DMT fully substituted only in DOM-trained rats. Full cross-substitution occurred between DMT and DOM, LSD and DOM, and (+)-methamphetamine and MDMA. MDMA fully substituted for (+)-methamphetamine, DOM, and DMT, but only partially for LSD. In MDMA-trained rats, LSD and (+)-methamphetamine fully substituted, whereas DMT and DOM did not fully substitute. No cross-substitution was evident between (+)-methamphetamine and DMT, LSD, or DOM.
DMT produces discriminative stimulus effects most similar to those of DOM, with some similarity to the discriminative stimulus effects of LSD and MDMA. Like DOM and LSD, DMT seems to produce predominately hallucinogenic-like discriminative stimulus effects and minimal psychostimulant effects, in contrast to MDMA which produced hallucinogen- and psychostimulant-like effects.
Drug discrimination; cross-substitution; hallucinogen; psychostimulant; (−)-2, 5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM); lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD); dimethyltryptamine (DMT); 3, 4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine (MDMA); (+)-methamphetamine; rat
Blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) is a powerful technique for separation and proteomic analysis of high molecular weight protein complexes. It is often performed on gradient gels and is widely used for studying mitochondrial membrane complexes involved in electron transportation and oxidative phosphorylation. In this paper, we present an alternative BN-PAGE method that uses highly porous, non-gradient polyacrylamide gels for separation of rat brain mitochondrial protein complexes. Results demonstrate that this method not only resolves mitochondrial complexes I-V, allowing subsequent analysis by in-gel activity staining and mass spectrometry peptide sequencing, but also identifies Hsp60 polymers and dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLDH). Moreover, with this new method, it is shown for the first time that complex I and DLDH can be simultaneously detected on a single gel strip by in-gel activity staining. Overall, the method provides a simplified, non-gradient gel electrophoretic approach that should be useful in functional proteomics studies.
Blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase; mitochondria; protein complexes
Soma® (carisoprodol) is an increasingly abused, centrally-acting muscle relaxant. Despite the prevalence of carisoprodol abuse, its mechanism of action remains unclear. Its sedative effects, which contribute to its therapeutic and recreational use, are generally attributed to the actions of its primary metabolite, meprobamate, at GABAA receptors (GABAAR). Meprobamate is a controlled substance at the federal level; ironically, carisoprodol is not currently classified as such. Using behavioral and molecular pharmacological approaches, we recently demonstrated carisoprodol, itself, is capable of modulating GABAAR function in a manner similar to central nervous system depressants. Its functional similarities with this highly addictive class of drugs may contribute to the abuse potential of carisoprodol. The site of action of carisoprodol has not been identified; based on our studies, interaction with benzodiazepine or barbiturate sites is unlikely. These recent findings, when coupled with numerous reports in the literature, support the contention that the non-controlled status of carisoprodol should be reevaluated.
Carisoprodol; Discrimination; GABAA receptor; Meprobamate; Muscle relaxant; Substance abuse
The purpose of this study was to understand the nature of the causes underlying the senescence-related decline in skeletal muscle mass and performance. Protein and lipid oxidative damage to upper hindlimb skeletal muscle mitochondria was compared between mice fed ad libitum and those restricted to 40% fewer calories—a regimen that increases life span by ~30–40% and attenuates the senescence-associated decrement in skeletal muscle mass and function. Oxidative damage to mitochondrial proteins, measured as amounts of protein carbonyls and loss of protein sulfhydryl content, and to mitochondrial lipids, determined as concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, significantly increased with age in the ad libitum-fed (AL) C57BL/6 mice. The rate of superoxide anion radical generation by submitochondrial particles increased whereas the activities of antioxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in muscle homogenates remained unaltered with age in the AL group. In calorically-restricted (CR) mice there was no age-associated increase in mitochondrial protein or lipid oxidative damage, or in superoxide anion radical generation. Crossover studies, involving the transfer of 18- to 22-month-old mice fed on the AL regimen to the CR regimen, and vice versa, indicated that the mitochondrial oxidative damage could not be reversed by CR or induced by AL feeding within a time frame of 6 weeks. Results of this study indicate that mitochondria in skeletal muscles accumulate significant amounts of oxidative damage during aging. Although such damage is largely irreversible, it can be prevented by restriction of caloric intake.
Aging; Oxidative stress; Free radicals; Caloric restriction; Skeletal muscle; Mitochondria; Protein oxidation
The main purpose of this study was to determine whether intake of coenzyme Q10, which can potentially act as both an antioxidant and a prooxidant, has an impact on indicators of oxidative stress and the aging process. Mice were fed diets providing daily supplements of 0, 93, or 371 mg CoQ10 /kg body weight, starting at 3.5 months of age. Effects on mitochondrial superoxide generation, activities of oxidoreductases, protein oxidative damage, glutathione redox state, and life span of male mice were determined. Amounts of CoQ9 and CoQ10, measured after 3.5 or 17.5 months of intake, in homogenates and mitochondria of liver, heart, kidney, skeletal muscle, and brain increased with the dosage and duration of CoQ10 intake in all the tissues except brain. Activities of mitochondrial electron transport chain oxidoreductases, rates of mitochondrial O2−· generation, state 3 respiration, carbonyl content, glutathione redox state of tissues, and activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, determined at 19 or 25 months of age, were unaffected by CoQ10 administration. Life span studies, conducted on 50 mice in each group, showed that CoQ10 administration had no effect on mortality. Altogether, the results indicated that contrary to the historical view, supplemental intake of CoQ10 elevates the endogenous content of both CoQ9 and CoQ10, but has no discernable effect on the main antioxidant defenses or prooxidant generation in most tissues, and has no impact on the life span of mice.
Coenzyme Q; Ubiquinone; Mitochondria; Aging; Oxidative stress; Antioxidants; Glutathione; Redox state; Free radicals
The objectives of this study were: (i) to identify regions of the aged mouse brain in which advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) were increased, and (ii) assess the functional significance of AGEs by assessing the extent to which they could predict age-related brain dysfunction. Densitometric analyses of immunoblots for N epsilon-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), a predominant AGE, and receptor for AGE (RAGE), were performed in different brain regions of mice aged 8 or 25 months. The 25-month-old mice were tested for ability to perform on tests of cognitive and psychomotor function prior to assessment of CML or RAGE, to determine if immunostaining results could predict functional impairment among the older mice. The amounts of CML increased with age in cortex, hippocampus, striatum and midbrain, but were unchanged in the brainstem and cerebellum. Increases in RAGE were evident in all brain regions but the hippocampus, and were not linked to increased amounts of CML. Different statistical approaches each failed to reveal any strong association between the degree of age-related functional impairment among individual mice and amounts of CML or RAGE in any particular region of the brain. The findings from this study suggest that accrual of CML and expression of RAGE in different brain regions are time-related phenomena that do not account for individual differences in brain aging or cognitive decline.
Advanced glycation end products; N epsilon-(carboxymethyl) lysine; Receptor for advanced glycation end products; Central nervous system; Aging; Motor function; Behavior
Metabolic rate and parameters associated with oxidative stress were compared in two strains of mice, one of which, C57BL/6, exhibits an extension of life span in response to caloric restriction while the other, DBA/2, shows no such effect. Metabolic rate was higher in the DBA/2 than in the C57BL/6 mice, when measured at 5–6 months of age as in vivo and in vitro rates of oxygen consumption or body temperature. There were no remarkable inter-strain differences in activities of the antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase or in the rates of mitochondrial superoxide anion radical generation in heart or skeletal muscles. Comparison of glutathione redox state in the heart and skeletal muscles at 3 and 20 months of age indicated that the amount of glutathione (GSH) and the GSH:GSSG (glutathione disulfide) ratio were relatively higher in the young DBA/2 mice, but there were no inter-strain differences in the older mice. The age-related elevation in the level of oxidative stress reflected by GSH:GSSG ratio was greater in the C57BL/6 than DBA/2 mice. The energy balance, indicated by the gain/loss in body weight per unit of food consumed, is higher in C57BL/6 than DBA/2 mice. It is hypothesized that the genotype-specific extension of life span by caloric restriction may involve modulation of oxidative stress produced as a result of an interplay between metabolic rate and energy balance during aging.
Brain energy metabolism is increased during postnatal development and diminished in neurodegenerative diseases linked to senescence. The objective of this study was to determine if these conditions could involve postnatal or senescence-related shifts in activity or expression of dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLDH), a key mitochondrial oxidoreductase. Rats ranging from 10 to 60 days of age were used in studies of postnatal development, whereas rats aged 5 or 30 months were used in the aging studies. The expression of DLDH was determined by Western blot analysis using anti-DLDH antibodies and DLDH diaphorase activity was measured by an in-gel activity staining method using nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT)/NADH. Activity of DLDH dehydrogenase was measured as NAD+ oxidation of dihydrolipoamide. When these measures were considered in separate groups of 10-, 20-, 30-, or 60-day-old rats, all three showed an increase between 10 and 20 days of age. However, dehydrogenase activity of DLDH showed a further, progressive increase from 20 days to adulthood, in the absence of any further change in DLDH expression or diaphorase activity. No age-related decline in DLDH activity or expression was evident over the period from 5 to 30 months of age. Moreover, aging did not render DLDH more susceptible to oxidative inactivation by mitochondria-generated reactive oxygen species (ROS). Taken together, results of the present study indicate that (1) brain DLDH expression and activity undergo independent postnatal maturational increases; (2) Senescence does not confer any detectable change in the activity of DLDH or its susceptibility to inactivation by mitochondrial oxidative stress.
aging; brain; dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase; mitochondria; oxidative stress; postnatal development; reactive oxygen species
Nicotine and methamphetamine are both abused in similar settings, sometimes together. Because there are known interactions between central nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and dopamine receptors, it is of interest to characterize the nature of the interaction of these two compounds in vivo.
The purpose of this study was to characterize the extent to which these two compounds produce similar discriminative stimulus effects and to identify pharmacological mechanisms for their interaction. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate methamphetamine or nicotine from saline. First, the ability of methamphetamine and nicotine to cross-substitute in rats trained to the other compound was tested. Subsequently, the ability of a dopamine antagonist (haloperidol) and a centrally-acting nicotinic antagonist (mecamylamine) to block the discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine and nicotine were also tested.
Nicotine fully substituted in methamphetamine-trained rats, but methamphetamine only partially substituted in nicotine-trained rats. In nicotine-trained rats, mecamylamine fully antagonized the discriminative stimulus effects of nicotine, but haloperidol had no effect. The partial substitution of methamphetamine was partially attenuated by haloperidol, but not altered by mecamylamine. In methamphetamine-trained rats, mecamylamine failed to antagonize the discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine, but haloperidol fully blocked the methamphetamine cue. Mecamylamine blocked the ability of nicotine to substitute for methamphetamine, but haloperidol had no effect.
These results indicate that nicotine and methamphetamine share discriminative stimulus effects in some subjects and that the two compounds do not act at the same site, but produce their interaction indirectly. These findings suggest that these two compounds might be at least partially interchangeable in human users, and that there are potentially interesting pharmacological reasons for the commonly observed co-administration of nicotine and methamphetamine.
methamphetamine; nicotine; mecamylamine; haloperidol; nicotinic acetylcholine receptor; dopamine receptor; co-abuse; drug-discrimination; rat
The hypothesis, that a decrease in metabolic rate mediates the life span prolonging effect of caloric restriction (CR), was tested using two strains of mice, one of which, C57BL/6, exhibits life span extension as a result of CR, while the other, DBA/2, shows little or no effect. Comparisons of the rate of resting oxygen consumption and body temperature were made between the strains after they were fed ad libitum (AL) or maintained under 40% CR, from 4 to 16 months of age. Ad libitum-fed mice of the two strains weighed the same when young and consumed similar amounts of food throughout the experiment; however, the C57BL/6 mice weighed 25% more than DBA/2 mice at 15 months of age. The rate of oxygen consumption was normalized as per gram body weight, lean body mass or organ weight as well as per animal. The body temperature and the rate of oxygen consumption, expressed according to all of the four criteria, were decreased in the DBA/2 mice following CR. The C57BL/6 mice also showed a CR-related decrease in body temperature and in the rate of oxygen consumption per animal and when normalized according to lean body mass or organ weight. The results of this study indicate that CR indeed lowers the rate of metabolism; however, this effect by CR does not necessarily entail the prolongation of the life span of mice.
caloric restriction; metabolic rate; aging; life span; energy balance; obesity; inbred mice; C57BL/6; DBA/2
Coenzyme Q (CoQ) has three well-characterized functions in mitochondria, namely (i) transfer of reducing equivalents in the electron transport chain, (ii) generation of superoxide anion radical (O2˙̄), and (iii) quenching of free radicals. The main purpose of this review is to discuss the effects of CoQ10 intake for relatively prolonged periods on mitochondrial respiratory capacity, indicators of oxidative stress, and life span of animals, in context of the broader issue of whether or not the overall progression of the aging process can be modified by CoQ10 administration. Comparative studies on different mammalian species have indicated that the rate of mitochondrial superoxide anion radical generation is directly correlated with mitochondrial CoQ9 content and inversely related to amounts of CoQ10, particularly the CoQ10 bound to mitochondrial membrane proteins. Contrary to the historical view, dietary supplementation of mice and rats with CoQ10 has been demonstrated to augment the endogenous CoQ content (CoQ9 + CoQ10) in mitochondria and homogenates of various tissues, albeit to varying extent. Ingestion of CoQ10 results in the elevation of endogenous CoQ9, the predominant homologue in mice and rats. In our studies, there was no indication of a discernable effect of CoQ10 intake reflecting enhancement of mitochondrial respiratory activity, antioxidant capacity and pro-oxidant potentiation or prolongation of life span. The possibility that CoQ10 intake affects certain other biological functions by as yet unelucidated mechanisms cannot be ruled out as CoQ has been shown to broadly alter gene expression in mice.
Coenzyme Q; aging; mitochondria; oxidative stress; vitamin E; antioxidants; free radicals
The main purpose of the present study was to determine whether specific regions of the mouse brain exhibit different age-related changes in oxidative stress, as indicated by glutathione redox state and the level of protein-glutathionyl mixed disulfides. Comparison of 3- and 21-month-old mice indicated an age-related decrease in the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione (GSH:GSSG) as well as a pro-oxidizing shift in the calculated redox potential (ranging from 6 to 15 mV) in the cortex, hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum, whereas there was little change in the brainstem. This pro-oxidizing shift in redox state was due to a modest decrease in GSH content occurring in all the brain regions examined, and elevations in GSSG amount that were most pronounced in the striatum and cerebellum. The regional changes in glutathione redox state were paralleled by increases in the amounts of protein-mixed disulfides. A reduction of caloric intake by 40% for a short period (7 weeks), implemented in relatively old mice (17 months), increased the GSH:GSSG ratio and redox potential at 19 months in the same brain regions that exhibited age-related decreases. The effects of age and caloric restriction were qualitatively similar in C57BL/6 and DBA/2 mice. However, young DBA/2 mice, which do not show extension of life span in response to long-term caloric restriction, had lower GSH:GSSG ratios and higher protein-mixed disulfides than age-matched C57BL/6 mice. The current findings demonstrate that oxidative stress, as reflected by glutathione redox state, increases in the aging brain in regions linked to age-associated losses of function and neurodegenerative diseases.
Glutathione; protein-mixed disulfides; redox potential; caloric restriction; inbred mice; aging; cerebral cortex; hippocampus; striatum; cerebellum; brainstem
Vascular dementia (VaD), incorporating cognitive dysfunction with vascular disease, ranks as the second leading cause of dementia in the United States, yet no effective treatment is currently available. The challenge of defining the pathological substrates of VaD is complicated by the heterogeneous nature of cerebrovascular disease and coexistence of other pathologies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) types of lesion. The use of rodent models of ischemic stroke may help to elucidate the type of lesions that are responsible for cognitive impairment in humans. Endovascular middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in rats is considered to be a convenient and reliable model of human cerebral ischemia. Both sensorimotor and cognitive dysfunction can be induced in the rat endovascular MCA occlusion model, yet sensorimotor deficits induced by endovascular MCA occlusion may improve with time, whereas data presented in this review suggest that in rats this model can result in a progressive course of cognitive impairment that is consistent with the clinical progression of VaD. Thus far, experimental studies using this model have demonstrated a direct interaction of cerebral ischemic damage and AD-type neuropathologies in the primary ischemic area. Further, coincident to the progressive decline of cognitive function, a delayed neurodegeneration in a remote area, distal to the primary ischemic area, the hippocampus, has been demonstrated in a rat endovascular MCA occlusion model. We argue that this model could be employed to study VaD and provide insight into some of the pathophysiological mechanisms of VaD.
Alzheimer’s disease; hippocampus; ischemia; middle cerebral artery; stroke; vascular dementia