Lam PY, Ko KM
Division of Life Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China.
Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by the dysfunction of mitochondrial energy metabolism, which is associated with the functional impairment of succinate dehydrogenase (mitochondrial complex II), and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). Treatment with 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP), a potent irreversible inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase, replicates most of the pathophysiological features of HD. In the present study, we investigated the effect of (-)schisandrin B [(-)Sch B, a potent enantiomer of schisandrin B] on 3-NP-induced cell injury in rat differentiated neuronal PC12 cells. The 3-NP caused cell necrosis, as assessed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage, and mitochondrion-dependent cell apoptosis, as assessed by caspase-3 and caspase-9 activation, in differentiated PC12 cells. The cytotoxicity induced by 3-NP was associated with a depletion of cellular reduced glutathione (GSH) as well as the activation of redox-sensitive c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway and the inhibition of PDH. (-)Sch B pretreatment (5 and 15 uM) significantly reduced the extent of necrotic and apoptotic cell death in 3-NP-challenged cells. The cytoprotection afforded by (-)Sch B pretreatment was associated with the attenuation of 3-NP-induced GSH depletion as well as JNK activation and PDH inhibition. (-)Sch B pretreatment enhanced cellular glutathione redox status and ameliorated the 3-NP-induced cellular energy crisis, presumably by suppressing the activated JNK-mediated PDH inhibition, thereby protecting against necrotic and apoptotic cell death in differentiated PC12 cells.