Glial lipid droplets and ROS induced by mitochondrial defects promote neurodegeneration.
ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial defects in neurons are implicated in neurodegenerative disease. Here, we find that a key consequence of ROS and neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction is the accumulation of lipid droplets (LD) in glia. In Drosophila, ROS triggers c-Jun-N-terminal Kinase (JNK) and Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein (SREBP) activity in neurons leading to LD accumulation in glia prior to or at the onset of neurodegeneration. The accumulated lipids are peroxidated in the presence of ROS. Reducing LD accumulation in glia and lipid peroxidation via targeted lipase overexpression and/or lowering ROS significantly delays the onset of neurodegeneration. Furthermore, a similar pathway leads to glial LD accumulation in Ndufs4 mutant mice with neuronal mitochondrial defects, suggesting that LD accumulation following mitochondrial dysfunction is an evolutionarily conserved phenomenon, and represents an early, transient indicator and promoter of neurodegenerative disease.
Project description:Animals have evolved multiple mechanisms to protect themselves from the cumulative effects of age-related cellular damage. Here, we reveal an unexpected link between the TNF (tumour necrosis factor) inflammatory pathway, triggered by the metalloprotease ADAM17/TACE, and a lipid droplet (LD)-mediated mechanism of protecting retinal cells from age-related degeneration. Loss of ADAM17, TNF and the TNF receptor Grindelwald in pigmented glial cells of the Drosophila retina leads to age-related degeneration of both glia and neurons, preceded by an abnormal accumulation of glial LDs. We show that the glial LDs initially buffer the cells against damage caused by glial and neuronally generated reactive oxygen species (ROS), but that in later life the LDs dissipate, leading to the release of toxic peroxidated lipids. Finally, we demonstrate the existence of a conserved pathway in human iPS-derived microglia-like cells, which are central players in neurodegeneration. Overall, we have discovered a pathway mediated by TNF signalling acting not as a trigger of inflammation, but as a cytoprotective factor in the retina.
Project description:Elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce the formation of lipids in neurons that are transferred to glia, where they form lipid droplets (LDs). We show that glial and neuronal monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs), fatty acid transport proteins (FATPs), and apolipoproteins are critical for glial LD formation. MCTs enable glia to secrete and neurons to absorb lactate, which is converted to pyruvate and acetyl-CoA in neurons. Lactate metabolites provide a substrate for synthesis of fatty acids, which are processed and transferred to glia by FATP and apolipoproteins. In the presence of high ROS, inhibiting lactate transfer or lowering FATP or apolipoprotein levels decreases glial LD accumulation in flies and in primary mouse glial-neuronal cultures. We show that human APOE can substitute for a fly glial apolipoprotein and that APOE4, an Alzheimer's disease susceptibility allele, is impaired in lipid transport and promotes neurodegeneration, providing insights into disease mechanisms.
Project description:Peroxidated lipids accumulate in the presence of reactive oxygen species and are linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Here we found that neuronal ablation of Arf1, a small GTPase important for lipid homeostasis, promoted the accumulation of peroxidated lipids, lipid droplets and ATP in the mouse brain and led to neuroinflammation, demyelination, and neurodegeneration, mainly in the spinal cord and hindbrain. Ablation of Arf1 in cultured primary neurons led to an increase in peroxidated lipids in co-cultured microglia, the activation of the microglial NLRP3 inflammasome, and the release of inflammatory cytokines in an APOE-dependent manner. Deleting the Nlrp3 gene rescued the neurodegenerative phenotypes in the neuronal Arf1-ablated mice. We also observed a reduction in Arf1 in human brain tissue from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis patients. Together, our results uncover a previously unrecognized role of peroxidated lipids released from damaged neurons in the activation of a neurotoxic microglial NLRP3 pathway that may play a role in human neurodegeneration. Overall design: Study of Arf1 function in the neurons
Project description:Disruption of the Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) mucolipin 1 (TRPML1) channel results in the neurodegenerative disorder mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV), a lysosomal storage disease with severe motor impairments. The mechanisms underlying MLIV are poorly understood and there is no treatment. Here, we report a Drosophila MLIV model, which recapitulates the key disease features, including abnormal intracellular accumulation of macromolecules, motor defects, and neurodegeneration. The basis for the buildup of macromolecules was defective autophagy, which resulted in oxidative stress and impaired synaptic transmission. Late-apoptotic cells accumulated in trpml mutant brains, suggesting diminished cell clearance. The accumulation of late-apoptotic cells and motor deficits were suppressed by expression of trpml(+) in neurons, glia, or hematopoietic cells. We conclude that the neurodegeneration and motor defects result primarily from decreased clearance of apoptotic cells. Since hematopoietic cells in humans are involved in clearance of apoptotic cells, our results raise the possibility that bone marrow transplantation may limit the progression of MLIV.
Project description:Increasing evidence suggests that dysregulation of lipid metabolism is associated with neurodegeneration in retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and in brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Lipid storage organelles (lipid droplets, LDs), accumulate in many cell types in response to stress, and it is now clear that LDs function not only as lipid stores but also as dynamic regulators of the stress response. However, whether these LDs are always protective or can also be deleterious to the cell is unknown. Here, we investigated the consequences of LD accumulation on retinal cell homeostasis under physiological and stress conditions in Drosophila and in mice. In wild-type Drosophila, we show that dFatp is required and sufficient for expansion of LD size in retinal pigment cells (RPCs) and that LDs in RPCs are required for photoreceptor survival during aging. Similarly, in mice, LD accumulation induced by RPC-specific expression of human FATP1 was non-toxic and promoted mitochondrial energy metabolism in RPCs and non-autonomously in photoreceptor cells. In contrast, the inhibition of LD accumulation by dFatp knockdown suppressed neurodegeneration in Aats-metFB Drosophila mutants, which carry elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This suggests that abnormal turnover of LD may be toxic for photoreceptors cells of the retina under oxidative stress. Collectively, these findings indicate that FATP-mediated LD formation in RPCs promotes RPC and neuronal homeostasis under physiological conditions but could be deleterious for the photoreceptors under pathological conditions.
Project description:Pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN) is an early onset and severely disabling neurodegenerative disease for which no therapy is available. PKAN is caused by mutations in PANK2, which encodes for the mitochondrial enzyme pantothenate kinase 2. Its function is to catalyze the first limiting step of Coenzyme A (CoA) biosynthesis. We generated induced pluripotent stem cells from PKAN patients and showed that their derived neurons exhibited premature death, increased ROS production, mitochondrial dysfunctions-including impairment of mitochondrial iron-dependent biosynthesis-and major membrane excitability defects. CoA supplementation prevented neuronal death and ROS formation by restoring mitochondrial and neuronal functionality. Our findings provide direct evidence that PANK2 malfunctioning is responsible for abnormal phenotypes in human neuronal cells and indicate CoA treatment as a possible therapeutic intervention.
Project description:The abnormal accumulation of alpha-synuclein (?-syn) aggregates in neurons and glial cells is widely known to be associated with many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and Multiple system atrophy (MSA). Mitochondrial dysfunction in neurons and glia is known as a key feature of ?-syn toxicity. Studies aimed at understanding ?-syn-induced toxicity and its role in neurodegenerative diseases have primarily focused on neurons. However, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that glial cells such as microglia and astrocytes have been implicated in the initial pathogenesis and the progression of ?-Synucleinopathy. Glial cells are important for supporting neuronal survival, synaptic functions, and local immunity. Furthermore, recent studies highlight the role of mitochondrial metabolism in the normal function of glial cells. In this work, we review the complex relationship between glial mitochondria and ?-syn-mediated neurodegeneration, which may provide novel insights into the roles of glial cells in ?-syn-associated neurodegenerative diseases.
Project description:Lack of NDUFS4, a subunit of mitochondrial complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), causes Leigh syndrome (LS), a progressive encephalomyopathy. Knocking out Ndufs4, either systemically or in brain only, elicits LS in mice. In patients as well as in KO mice distinct regions of the brain degenerate while surrounding tissue survives despite systemic complex I dysfunction. For the understanding of disease etiology and ultimately for the development of rationale treatments for LS, it appears important to uncover the mechanisms that govern focal neurodegeneration.Here we used the Ndufs4(KO) mouse to investigate whether regional and temporal differences in respiratory capacity of the brain could be correlated with neurodegeneration. In the KO the respiratory capacity of synaptosomes from the degeneration prone regions olfactory bulb, brainstem and cerebellum was significantly decreased. The difference was measurable even before the onset of neurological symptoms. Furthermore, neither compensating nor exacerbating changes in glycolytic capacity of the synaptosomes were found. By contrast, the KO retained near normal levels of synaptosomal respiration in the degeneration-resistant/resilient "rest" of the brain. We also investigated non-synaptic mitochondria. The KO expectedly had diminished capacity for oxidative phosphorylation (state 3 respiration) with complex I dependent substrate combinations pyruvate/malate and glutamate/malate but surprisingly had normal activity with ?-ketoglutarate/malate. No correlation between oxidative phosphorylation (pyruvate/malate driven state 3 respiration) and neurodegeneration was found: Notably, state 3 remained constant in the KO while in controls it tended to increase with time leading to significant differences between the genotypes in older mice in both vulnerable and resilient brain regions. Neither regional ROS damage, measured as HNE-modified protein, nor regional complex I stability, assessed by blue native gels, could explain regional neurodegeneration.Our data suggests that locally insufficient respiration capacity of the nerve terminals may drive focal neurodegeneration.
Project description:Inherited mitochondrial optic neuropathies, such as Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) and Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) are caused by mutant mitochondrial proteins that lead to defects in mitochondrial complex 1-driven ATP synthesis, and cause specific retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss. Complex 1 defects also occur in patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), in which there is specific RGC loss. The treatment of mitochondrial optic neuropathy in the US is only supportive. The Ndufs4 knockout (Ndufs4 KO) mouse is a mitochondrial complex 1-deficient model that leads to RGC loss and rapid vision loss and allows for streamlined testing of potential therapeutics. Preceding RGC loss in the Ndufs4 KO is the loss of starburst amacrine cells, which may be an important target in the mechanism of complex 1-deficient vision loss. Papaverine and zolpidem were recently shown to be protective of bioenergetic loss in cell models of optic neuropathy. Treatment of Ndufs4 KO mice with papaverine, zolpidem, and rapamycin-suppressed inflammation, prevented cell death, and protected from vision loss. Thus, in the Ndufs4 KO mouse model of mitochondrial optic neuropathy, papaverine and zolpidem provided significant protection from multiple pathophysiological features, and as approved drugs in wide human use could be considered for the novel indication of human optic neuropathy.
Project description:The NLRP3 inflammasome signaling pathway is a major contributor to the neuroinflammatory process in the central nervous system. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are key pathophysiological processes of many chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the inter-relationship between mitochondrial defects and neuroinflammation is not well understood. In the present study, we show that impaired mitochondrial function can augment the NLRP3 inflammasome-driven proinflammatory cascade in microglia. Primary mouse microglia treated with the common inflammogen LPS increased NLRP3 and pro-IL-1? expression. Interestingly, exposure of LPS-primed microglial cells to the mitochondrial complex-I inhibitory pesticides rotenone and tebufenpyrad specifically potentiated the NLRP3 induction, ASC speck formation and pro-IL-1? processing to IL-1? in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that mitochondrial impairment heightened the NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated proinflammatory response in microglia. The neurotoxic pesticide-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation was accompanied by bioenergetic defects and lysosomal dysfunction in microglia. Furthermore, the pesticides enhanced mitochondrial ROS generation in primary microglia, while amelioration of mitochondria-derived ROS by the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant mito-apocynin completely abolished IL-1? release, indicating mitochondrial ROS drives potentiation of the NLRP3 inflammasome in microglia. Exposure to conditioned media obtained from mitochondrial inhibitor-treated, LPS-primed microglial cells, but not unprimed cells, induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration in cultured primary mesencephalic and human dopaminergic neuronal cells (LUHMES). Notably, our in vivo results with chronic rotenone rodent models of PD further support the activation of proinflammatory NLRP3 inflammasome signaling due to mitochondrial dysfunction. Collectively, our results demonstrate that mitochondrial impairment in microglia can amplify NLRP3 inflammasome signaling, which augments the dopaminergic neurodegenerative process.