Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 4453–4462 | Cite as

Tibolone Preserves Mitochondrial Functionality and Cell Morphology in Astrocytic Cells Treated with Palmitic Acid

  • Yeimy González-Giraldo
  • Luis Miguel Garcia-Segura
  • Valentina Echeverria
  • George E. Barreto


Obesity has been associated with increased chronic neuroinflammation and augmented risk of neurodegeneration. This is worsened during the normal aging process when the levels of endogenous gonadal hormones are reduced. In this study, we have assessed the protective actions of tibolone, a synthetic steroid with estrogenic actions, on T98G human astrocytic cells exposed to palmitic acid, a saturated fatty acid used to mimic obesity in vitro. Tibolone improved cell survival, and preserved mitochondrial membrane potential in palmitic acid-treated astrocytic cells. Although we did not find significant actions of tibolone on free radical production, it modulated astrocytic morphology after treatment with palmitic acid. These data suggest that tibolone protects astrocytic cells by preserving both mitochondrial functionality and morphological complexity.


Astrocytes Palmitic acid Tibolone Mitochondria Morphology 



YG-G is supported by a PhD fellowship from Centro de Estudios Interdisciplinarios Básicos y Aplicados CEIBA (Rodolfo Llinás Program). We acknowledge support from Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO), Spain (grant no. BFU2014-51836-C2-1-R), CIBERFES, and Fondos FEDER.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Nutrición y Bioquímica, Facultad de CienciasPontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotá D.C.Colombia
  2. 2.Instituto Cajal, CSICMadridSpain
  3. 3.CIBER de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Fragilidad y Envejecimiento Saludable (CIBERFES)Instituto de Salud Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  4. 4.Fac. Cs de la SaludUniversidad San SebastiánConcepciónChile
  5. 5.Bay Pines VA Health Care SystemBay PinesUSA
  6. 6.Instituto de Ciencias BiomédicasUniversidad Autónoma de ChileSantiagoChile

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