Effect of 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid 8-diethylamino-octyl ester (TMB-8) on neuronal calcium homeostasis, protein synthesis, and energy metabolism.
It has been suggested recently that disturbances of endoplasmic reticulum calcium homeostasis plays a major role in ischaemic cell injury of the brain. Depletion of endoplasmic reticulum calcium stores induces suppression of the initiation process of protein synthesis, a prominent feature of ischaemic cell damage. The benzoic acid derivative 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid 8-diethylamino-octyl ester (TMB-8), an established inhibitor of calcium release from endoplasmic reticulum, would be an ideal tool for elucidating the role of endoplasmic reticulum dysfunction in this pathological process. The present investigation was performed to study the effects of TMB-8 on neuronal metabolism (cytoplasmic calcium activity, ATP levels and protein synthesis) using hippocampal slices and primary neuronal cell cultures. In addition, we investigated whether the rise in cytoplasmic calcium activity and the suppression of protein synthesis induced by endoplasmic reticulum calcium pool depletion, is reversed by this agent. Exposure of neurones to TMB-8 (100 microM) induced a small transient increase in cytoplasmic calcium activity ([Ca2+]i), whereas a second dose of TMB-8 (200 microM) produced a marked and sustained rise in [Ca2+]i. The increase in [Ca2+]i evoked by blocking endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase was only transiently suppressed and then aggravated by TMB-8. The dose-dependent suppression of protein synthesis by TMB-8, observed both in neuronal cultures and hippocampal slices, indicates that TMB-8 has a pathological effect on neuronal metabolism. This inhibition was not reversed after washing-off of the drug. TMB-8 did not reverse the inhibition of protein synthesis evoked by caffeine, which depletes endoplasmic reticulum calcium stores by activating the ryanodine receptor. The results indicate that TMB-8 is not a suitable investigative tool for blocking in neuronal cell cultures the depletion of endoplasmic reticulum calcium stores and the suppression of protein synthesis induced by endoplasmic reticulum calcium pool depletion.
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