Abnormalities in mitochondrial function under diabetic conditions can lead to deficits in function of cortical neurons and their support cells exhibiting a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease. We aimed to assess mitochondrial respiration rates and membrane potential or H2O2 generation simultaneously and expression of proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics, ROS scavenging and AMPK/SIRT/PGC-1α pathway activity in cortex under diabetic conditions.Methods
Cortical mitochondria from streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic rats or mice, and aged-matched controls were used for simultaneous measurements of mitochondrial respiration rates and mitochondrial membrane potential (mtMP) or H2O2 using OROBOROS oxygraph. Measurements of enzymatic activities of respiratory complexes were performed using spectophotometry. Protein levels in cortical mitochondria and homogenates were determined by Western blotting.Results
Mitochondrial coupled respiration rates and FCCP-induced uncoupled respiration rates were significantly decreased in mitochondria of cortex of STZ-diabetic rats compared to controls. The mtMP in the presence of ADP was significantly depolarized and succinate-dependent respiration rates and H2O2 were significantly diminished in cortical mitochondria of diabetic animals compared to controls, accompanied with reduced expression of CuZn- and Mn-superoxide dismutase. The enzymatic activities of Complex I, II, and IV and protein levels of certain components of Complex I and II, mitofusin 2 (Mfn2), dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), P-AMPK, SIRT2 and PGC-1α were significantly diminished in diabetic cortex.Conclusion
Deficits in mitochondrial function, dynamics, and antioxidant capabilities putatively mediated through sub-optimal AMPK/SIRT/PGC-1α signaling, are involved in the development of early sub-clinical neurodegeneration in the cortex under diabetic conditions.