The overall goal of this project is to characterize the mechanism(s) in the brain involved in oxidative stress (e.g., lipid peroxidation) due to manganese (Mn) overexposure and the role(s) of glutathione in this process. Manganese is an essential nutrient for humans and other mammals, and it functions as a critical cofactor for many key enzymes involved in cellular metabolism. However, exceedingly high brain Mn concentrations are known to cause neurotoxicity (manganism) with symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease (PD). These similarities between Parkinson's disease and manganism include the presence of generalized bradykinesia and widespread rigidity. While the etiologies of both manganism and PD are not fully understood, recent evidence suggests that oxidative stress may be a factor in both disease processes. ? Glutathione (GSH) is a ubiquitous antioxidant that functions in conjugation and elimination of toxic molecules, thereby maintaining cellular redox homeostasis. GSH is one of the most important endogenous antioxidants in the brain with the astrocytes (cells that function as caretakers of neurons) being the cell with the richest supply of GSH. Alterations in GSH metabolism in the brain have been linked with oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases such as PD. Biochemical analyses of post-mortem brain tissues from PD patients and manganese exposed rats revealed significantly lowered GSH levels compared to controls. ? The objective of this project is to link alterations in GSH metabolism due to Mn exposure with lipid peroxidation, a known contributor to the neurodegenerative process.
Our first Aim will use twenty-one day, three month, and twelve month old rats in order to assess in vivo GSH-redox status and the formation of isoprostanes a biomarker of lipid peroxidation in brain regions known to be vulnerable to Mn accumulation. Furthermore, some of the rats will be treated with antioxidants and we hypothesize that they will be spared from Mn-induced lipid peroxidation.
Our second Aim i s designed to specifically look at cellular mechanisms of these alterations in GSH metabolism due to Mn by utilizing both astrocyte and neuronal cell culture models. As in Aim one, we will expose both cell types to doses of Mn that are representative to those seen in cases of Mn neurotoxicity and assess the effects of antioxidant treatment on the formation of isoprostanes and alterations in GSH metabolism. Being that the astrocyte is the cell in the brain that handles the majority of GSH metabolism, it is likely that this model will reveal potential mechanisms in which manganese alters brain GSH and by performing parallel studies in neurons, we can assess the effects of Mn in these two brain cell types known to be targets of Mn accumulation. Together, both of these experimental approaches will build a foundation to hone future studies on mechanisms of neurodegenerative processes. PROJECT NARRATIVE: Idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD) represents a common neurodegenerative disorder affecting individuals aged 65 or older. Since this age group has increased 12% in the past decade and is projected to increase to 20% by the year 2030, it is likely that the incidence rate for IPD will dramatically increase. Environmental exposures to pesticides and toxic metals, including manganese (Mn), have been implicated in the development of IPD. Disturbances in brain glutathione (a natural antioxidant) metabolism have been reported in both Mn toxicity and in IPD. The overall goal of this study is to characterize the mechanism(s) in the brain involved in oxidative stress (e.g., lipid peroxidation) due to manganese (Mn) overexposure and the role(s) of glutathione in this process. If successful, these studies will lay the foundation for the development of a pharmacological therapy aimed at the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases that may be related to brain manganese accumulation. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15)
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Cell Death in Neurodegeneration Study Section (CDIN)
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Sutherland, Margaret L
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University of North Carolina Greensboro
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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