Oxidative stress may be a hallmark of several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Acrolein is a highly reactive product of lipid peroxidation that is elevated in the brains of persons with AD. This alkenal potentially can react with proteins by Michael addition to alter their structure and function. In the present study, we used electron paramagnetic resonance in conjunction with a protein-specific spin label to monitor synaptosomal membrane protein conformational alterations induced by acrolein. A dose-dependent increased conformational alteration was observed. Consistent with this finding, protein carbonyl levels from protein-bound acrolein were significantly elevated. However, pretreatment of synaptosomes with glutathione ethyl ester (GEE) significantly ameliorated both the conformational alterations and protein carbonyls induced by acrolein. Based on this success, we tested the hypothesis that elevated levels of endogenous glutathione (GSH) would offer protection against acrolein-induced oxidative stress. In-vivo elevation of GSH (215% over control, P < 0.04) was produced by i.p. injection of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a known precursor of GSH. Synaptosomes were treated with vehicle or 2 nM acrolein, the level of this alkenal found in AD brain. In contrast to synaptosomes from control animals, which had significantly increased protein carbonyl levels following addition of 2 nM acrolein, synaptosomes that were isolated from NAC-treated rodents and treated with 2 nM acrolein showed no increased carbonyl levels compared to untreated controls. These results demonstrate protection by increased in-vivo GSH levels against acrolein-induced oxidative stress at levels found in AD brain and are consistent with the notion that methods to increase endogenous GSH levels in neurodegenerative diseases associated with oxidative stress may be promising.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 2001|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by grants from NIH (AG-05119; AG-10836; AG-12423). We thank Dr. Mark Lovell for sharing his results prior to their publication.
- Electron paramagnetic resonance
- Oxidative Stress
- Protein oxidation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology