Inhibition of VDAC1 Protects Against Glutamate-Induced Oxytosis and Mitochondrial Fragmentation in Hippocampal HT22 Cells
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The involvement of glutamate in neuronal cell death in neurodegenerative diseases and neurotrauma is mediated through excitotoxicity or oxytosis. The latter process induces oxidative stress via glutamate-mediated inhibition of cysteine transporter xCT, leading to depletion of the cellular glutathione pool. Mitochondrial damage, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and depletion of energy metabolites have been shown in this process. The Voltage-Dependent Anion Channel-1 (VDAC1) is one of the main components of the mitochondrial outer membrane and plays a gatekeeping role in mitochondria-cytoplasm transport of metabolites. In this study, we explored the possible participation of VDAC-1 in the pathophysiology of oxytosis. Administration of glutamate in HT22 cells that lack the glutamate ionotropic receptors induced an upregulation and oligomerization of VDAC1. This was associated with an increase in ROS and loss of cell survival. Glutamate-mediated oxytosis in this model also decreased MMP and promoted ATP depletion, resulting in translocation of cytochrome c (cyt C) and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) from mitochondria into the cytosol. This was also accompanied by cleavage of AIF to form truncated AIF. Inhibition of VDAC1 oligomerization using 4,4′-Diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonate (DIDS), significantly improved the cell survival, decreased the ROS levels, improved mitochondrial functions, and decreased the mitochondrial damage. Notably, DIDS also inhibited the mitochondrial fragmentation caused by glutamate, indicating the active role of VDAC1 oligomerization in the process of mitochondrial fragmentation in oxytosis. These results suggest a critical role for VDAC1 in mitochondrial fragmentation and its potential therapeutic value against glutamate-mediated oxidative neurotoxicity.
KeywordsGlutamate toxicity Ferroptosis Caspase-independent apoptosis Oxidative stress AIF DIDS
Funding was provided by Health Sciences Centre Foundation and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
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