Melatonin attenuates nicotine-induced autophagy and neurological changes by decreasing the production of reactive oxygen species.
Int J Neurosci. 2019 Nov 26:1-7. Epub 2019 Nov 26. PMID: 31721620
The aim of this study was to explore the mechanism of neurological changes underlying the toxicity of nicotine.Rat pheochromocytoma 12 (PC12) cells and human neuroglia (HM) cells were used. The ROS levels of the cells were detected by the FACScan. Autophagy flux was monitored by a tandem monomeric RFP-GFP-tagged LC3 lentivirus. The autophagic proteins LC3, SQSTM1/p62 and Beclin1 were detected by western blot assay. In order to evaluate the effects of nicotine and melatonin on the morphological changes of neurons, primary cortical neurons were obtained and immunocytochemistry of TUBB3 tubulin were conducted.Nicotine increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in PC12 and HM cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Microscopy showed increased autophagic flux in nicotine-treated PC12 cells. Subsequent western blotting results showed that nicotine induced increase in the levels of LC3B-II and Beclin1, and decreased SQSTM1/p62 in a concentration-dependent manner. Finally, nicotine treatment reduced the length of TUBB3-positive axons and dendrites. Melatonin, a mitochondrially targeted antioxidant, reduced the ROS level, and blocked autophagy activation and the morphologic structural changes induced by nicotine.Our results suggested that the role of nicotine in neuronal toxicity maybe through the induction of ROS and the subsequent activation of autophagy. These effects could be restored by melatonin.