Protective effects of Alpha-lipoic acid on MeHg-induced oxidative damage and intracellular Ca(2+) dyshomeostasis in primary cultured neurons.
Free Radic Res. 2016 Mar 17:1-15. Epub 2016 Mar 17. PMID: 26986620
Methylmercury (MeHg) is one of the ubiquitous environmental toxicant that leads to long-lasting neurological deficits in animals and humans. However, the mechanisms of MeHg-induced neuronal cell death are incompletely understood. Treatment of neuronal cells with MeHg (0-2 μM) for 0.5-12 h, or pretreated with LA (12.5-100 μM) for 0.5-6 h resulted in toxic effects of primary cultured neurons concentration- and time-dependently. For further experiments, 12.5, 25, and 50 μM of LA pretreatment for 3 h followed by 1 μM MeHg for 6 h were performed for the examination of the responses of neurons. Exposure of MeHg resulted in damages of neurons, which were shown by a loss of cell viability, and supported by high levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release, apoptosis, and morphological changes. In addition, neurons were sensitive to MeHg-mediated oxidative stress, a finding that is consistent with ROS over-production, leading to decrease Ca(2+)-ATPase activity and increase intracellular free calcium. Moreover, expressions of NMDA receptor subunits in neurons were down-regulated after MeHg exposure, and expression of NR2A mRNA and protein weremuch more sensitive to MeHg than those of NR1 and NR2B. On the contrary, pretreatment with LA presented a concentration-dependent prevention against MeHg-mediated cytotoxic effects of neurons. In conclusion, present results showed that oxidative stress and intracellular Ca(2+ )dyshomeostasis resulting from MeHg exposure contributed to neuronal injury. LA could attenuate MeHg-induced neuronal toxicity via its antioxidant properties in primary cultured neurons.