Bianchetti, 2013

2013 - Cell Death Dis. 2013 Jul 4;4:e707.

Mechanisms underlying cell death in ischemia-like damage to the rat spinal cord in vitro

Bianchetti E, Mladinic M, Nistri A.


New spinal cord injury (SCI) cases are frequently due to non-traumatic causes, including vascular disorders. To develop mechanism-based neuroprotective strategies for acute SCI requires full understanding of the early pathophysiological changes to prevent disability and paralysis. The aim of our study was to identify the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell death triggered by a pathological medium (PM) mimicking ischemia in the rat spinal cord in vitro. We previously showed that extracellular Mg(2+) (1 mM) worsened PM-induced damage and inhibited locomotor function. The present study indicated that 1 h of PM+Mg(2+) application induced delayed pyknosis chiefly in the spinal white matter via overactivation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), suggesting cell death mediated by the process of parthanatos that was largely suppressed by pharmacological block of PARP-1. Gray matter damage was less intense and concentrated in dorsal horn neurons and motoneurons that became immunoreactive for the mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor (the intracellular effector of parthanatos) translocated into the nucleus to induce chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation. Immunoreactivity to TRPM ion channels believed to be involved in ischemic brain damage was also investigated. TRPM2 channel expression was enhanced 24 h later in dorsal horn and motoneurons, whereas TRPM7 channel expression concomitantly decreased. Conversely, TRPM7 expression was found earlier (3 h) in white matter cells, whereas TRPM2 remained undetectable. Simulating acute ischemic-like damage in vitro in the presence of Mg(2+) showed how, during the first 24 h, this divalent cation unveiled differential vulnerability of white matter cells and motoneurons, with distinct changes in their TRPM expression.


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