Induction of neuronal mitophagy in acute spinal cord injury in rats.

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Induction of neuronal mitophagy in acute spinal cord injury in rats.

Neurotox Res. 2013 Nov;24(4):512-22

Authors: Yu D, Li M, Ni B, Kong J, Zhang Z

Abstract
Autophagy and up-regulation of autophagy-associated proteins microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) and Beclin-1 have been shown to occur in spinal cord injury (SCI). Bcl-2/E1B-19 K-interacting protein 3 (BNIP3) and Nip-like protein X (NIX, also known as BNIP3L) are mitochondrial BH3-only proteins that are implicated in mitophagy. In this study, we show that mitophagy is activated in the injured neurons, and hypoxia-inducible proteins BNIP3, NIX, and p53 are upregulated after SCI. Numerous autophagosomes containing damaged mitochondria (mitophagosomes) were found in the injured neurons 24 h after SCI in rats by transmission electron microscopy; mitophagy, therefore, had occurred. Hypoxia-inducible proteins BNIP3, NIX, and p53 were upregulated in spinal cord neurons in both a rat model of SCI and cultured primary spinal neurons exposed to hypoxia. BNIP3 and NIX were transcriptionally regulated mainly by hypoxia-inducible factor-1α as well as p53 in cultured spinal cord neurons. This study provides direct morphological and biochemical evidence for mitophagy in the damaged neural tissue after SCI.

PMID: 23637053 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]