Autophagy protects against aminochrome-induced cell death in substantia nigra-derived cell line.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Aminochrome, the precursor of neuromelanin, has been proposed to be involved in the neurodegeneration neuromelanin-containing dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. We aimed to study the mechanism of aminochrome-dependent cell death in a cell line derived from rat substantia nigra. We found that aminochrome (50μM), in the presence of NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase, EC (DT)-diaphorase inhibitor dicoumarol (DIC) (100μM), induces significant cell death (62 ± 3%; p < 0.01), increase in caspase-3 activation (p < 0.001), release of cytochrome C, disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential (p < 0.01), damage of mitochondrial DNA, damage of mitochondria determined with transmission electron microscopy, a dramatic morphological change characterized as cell shrinkage, and significant increase in number of autophagic vacuoles. To determine the role of autophagy on aminochrome-induced cell death, we incubated the cells in the presence of vinblastine and rapamycin. Interestingly, 10μM vinblastine induces a 5.9-fold (p < 0.001) and twofold (p < 0.01) significant increase in cell death when the cells were incubated with 30μM aminochrome in the absence and presence of DIC, respectively, whereas 10μM rapamycin preincubated 24 h before addition of 50μM aminochrome in the absence and the presence of 100μM DIC induces a significant decrease (p < 0.001) in cell death. In conclusion, autophagy seems to be an important protective mechanism against two different aminochrome-induced cell deaths that initially showed apoptotic features. The cell death induced by aminochrome when DT-diaphorase is inhibited requires activation of mitochondrial pathway, whereas the cell death induced by aminochrome alone requires inhibition of autophagy-dependent degrading of damaged organelles and recycling through lysosomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Paris, I; Muñoz, P; Huenchuguala, S; Couve, E; Sanders, LH; Greenamyre, JT; Caviedes, P; Segura-Aguilar, J

Published Date

  • June 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 376 - 388

PubMed ID

  • 21427056

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3145404

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0929

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/toxsci/kfr060


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States