Ketones prevent oxidative impairment of hippocampal synaptic integrity through KATP channels

Do Young Kim, Mohammed G. Abdelwahab, Soo Han Lee, Derek O'Neill, Roger J. Thompson, Henry J. Duff, Patrick G. Sullivan, Jong M. Rho

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50 Scopus citations


Dietary and metabolic therapies are increasingly being considered for a variety of neurological disorders, based in part on growing evidence for the neuroprotective properties of the ketogenic diet (KD) and ketones. Earlier, we demonstrated that ketones afford hippocampal synaptic protection against exogenous oxidative stress, but the mechanisms underlying these actions remain unclear. Recent studies have shown that ketones may modulate neuronal firing through interactions with ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels. Here, we used a combination of electrophysiological, pharmacological, and biochemical assays to determine whether hippocampal synaptic protection by ketones is a consequence of KATP channel activation. Ketones dose-dependently reversed oxidative impairment of hippocampal synaptic integrity, neuronal viability, and bioenergetic capacity, and this action was mirrored by the KATP channel activator diazoxide. Inhibition of KATP channels reversed ketoneevoked hippocampal protection, and genetic ablation of the inwardly rectifying K+ channel subunit Kir6.2, a critical component of KATP channels, partially negated the synaptic protection afforded by ketones. This partial protection was completely reversed by co-application of the KATP blocker, 5-hydoxydecanoate (5HD). We conclude that, under conditions of oxidative injury, ketones induce synaptic protection in part through activation of KATP channels.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0119316
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 7 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Kim et al.

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