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      13 reasons why the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress

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          Abstract

          The human brain consumes 20% of the total basal oxygen (O 2) budget to support ATP intensive neuronal activity. Without sufficient O 2 to support ATP demands, neuronal activity fails, such that, even transient ischemia is neurodegenerative. While the essentiality of O 2 to brain function is clear, how oxidative stress causes neurodegeneration is ambiguous. Ambiguity exists because many of the reasons why the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress remain obscure. Many are erroneously understood as the deleterious result of adventitious O 2 derived free radical and non-radical species generation. To understand how many reasons underpin oxidative stress, one must first re-cast free radical and non-radical species in a positive light because their deliberate generation enables the brain to achieve critical functions (e.g. synaptic plasticity) through redox signalling (i.e. positive functionality). Using free radicals and non-radical derivatives to signal sensitises the brain to oxidative stress when redox signalling goes awry (i.e. negative functionality). To advance mechanistic understanding, we rationalise 13 reasons why the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress. Key reasons include inter alia unsaturated lipid enrichment, mitochondria, calcium, glutamate, modest antioxidant defence, redox active transition metals and neurotransmitter auto-oxidation. We review RNA oxidation as an underappreciated cause of oxidative stress. The complex interplay between each reason dictates neuronal susceptibility to oxidative stress in a dynamic context and neural identity dependent manner. Our discourse sets the stage for investigators to interrogate the biochemical basis of oxidative stress in the brain in health and disease.

          Graphical abstract

          Highlights

          • The brain deliberately produces reactive species to transmit redox signals.
          • Redox signalling regulates critical functions (e.g. synaptic plasticity).
          • The brain is susceptible to oxidative stress when redox signalling goes awry.

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          Most cited references 290

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          How mitochondria produce reactive oxygen species

          The production of ROS (reactive oxygen species) by mammalian mitochondria is important because it underlies oxidative damage in many pathologies and contributes to retrograde redox signalling from the organelle to the cytosol and nucleus. Superoxide (O2 •−) is the proximal mitochondrial ROS, and in the present review I outline the principles that govern O2 •− production within the matrix of mammalian mitochondria. The flux of O2 •− is related to the concentration of potential electron donors, the local concentration of O2 and the second-order rate constants for the reactions between them. Two modes of operation by isolated mitochondria result in significant O2 •− production, predominantly from complex I: (i) when the mitochondria are not making ATP and consequently have a high Δp (protonmotive force) and a reduced CoQ (coenzyme Q) pool; and (ii) when there is a high NADH/NAD+ ratio in the mitochondrial matrix. For mitochondria that are actively making ATP, and consequently have a lower Δp and NADH/NAD+ ratio, the extent of O2 •− production is far lower. The generation of O2 •− within the mitochondrial matrix depends critically on Δp, the NADH/NAD+ and CoQH2/CoQ ratios and the local O2 concentration, which are all highly variable and difficult to measure in vivo. Consequently, it is not possible to estimate O2 •− generation by mitochondria in vivo from O2 •−-production rates by isolated mitochondria, and such extrapolations in the literature are misleading. Even so, the description outlined here facilitates the understanding of factors that favour mitochondrial ROS production. There is a clear need to develop better methods to measure mitochondrial O2 •− and H2O2 formation in vivo, as uncertainty about these values hampers studies on the role of mitochondrial ROS in pathological oxidative damage and redox signalling.
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            A synaptic model of memory: long-term potentiation in the hippocampus.

            Long-term potentiation of synaptic transmission in the hippocampus is the primary experimental model for investigating the synaptic basis of learning and memory in vertebrates. The best understood form of long-term potentiation is induced by the activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor complex. This subtype of glutamate receptor endows long-term potentiation with Hebbian characteristics, and allows electrical events at the postsynaptic membrane to be transduced into chemical signals which, in turn, are thought to activate both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms to generate a persistent increase in synaptic strength.
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              The NOX family of ROS-generating NADPH oxidases: physiology and pathophysiology.

              For a long time, superoxide generation by an NADPH oxidase was considered as an oddity only found in professional phagocytes. Over the last years, six homologs of the cytochrome subunit of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase were found: NOX1, NOX3, NOX4, NOX5, DUOX1, and DUOX2. Together with the phagocyte NADPH oxidase itself (NOX2/gp91(phox)), the homologs are now referred to as the NOX family of NADPH oxidases. These enzymes share the capacity to transport electrons across the plasma membrane and to generate superoxide and other downstream reactive oxygen species (ROS). Activation mechanisms and tissue distribution of the different members of the family are markedly different. The physiological functions of NOX family enzymes include host defense, posttranlational processing of proteins, cellular signaling, regulation of gene expression, and cell differentiation. NOX enzymes also contribute to a wide range of pathological processes. NOX deficiency may lead to immunosuppresion, lack of otoconogenesis, or hypothyroidism. Increased NOX activity also contributes to a large number or pathologies, in particular cardiovascular diseases and neurodegeneration. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge of the functions of NOX enzymes in physiology and pathology.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Redox Biol
                Redox Biol
                Redox Biology
                Elsevier
                2213-2317
                03 February 2018
                May 2018
                03 February 2018
                : 15
                : 490-503
                Affiliations
                [a ]Free Radical Laboratory, Departments of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Sciences, Centre for Health Sciences, University of the Highlands and Islands, Inverness IV2 3HJ, UK
                [b ]Neurovascular Research Laboratory, Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Wales, CF37 4AT, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. james.cobley@ 123456uhi.ac.uk
                Article
                S2213-2317(18)30004-1
                10.1016/j.redox.2018.01.008
                5881419
                29413961
                Crown Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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