Previously, we demonstrated that reproductive senescence was associated with mitochondrial deficits comparable to those of female triple-transgenic Alzheimer's mice (3xTgAD). Herein, we investigated the impact of chronic ovarian hormone deprivation and 17β-estradiol (E2) replacement on mitochondrial function in nontransgenic (nonTg) and 3xTgAD female mouse brain. Depletion of ovarian hormones by ovariectomy (OVX) in nontransgenic mice significantly decreased brain bioenergetics, and induced mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. In 3xTgAD mice, OVX significantly exacerbated mitochondrial dysfunction and induced mitochondrial β-amyloid and β-amyloid (Aβ)-binding-alcohol-dehydrogenase (ABAD) expression. Treatment with E2 at OVX prevented OVX-induced mitochondrial deficits, sustained mitochondrial bioenergetic function, decreased oxidative stress, and prevented mitochondrial β-amyloid and ABAD accumulation. In vitro, E2 increased maximal mitochondrial respiration in neurons and basal and maximal respiration in glia. Collectively, these data demonstrate that ovarian hormone loss induced a mitochondrial phenotype comparable to a transgenic female model of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which was prevented by E2. These findings provide a plausible mechanism for increased risk of Alzheimer's disease in premenopausally oophorectomized women while also suggesting a therapeutic strategy for prevention.
Exposure to 12 atmospheres absolute (12 ATA) helium oxygen gas (heliox) (low level hyperbaric exposure) antagonizes the behavioral effects of ethanol and n-propanol, but not morphine. These and other results indicate that the mechanism of the antagonism is direct (pharmacodynamic) and selective. Our study further investigates the selectivity of low level hyperbaric antagonism by testing its effectiveness against diazepam, a high affinity binding drug that acts via allosteric modulation of GABAA receptors. C57BL/6J mice received injections i.p. of vehicle or diazepam, and were then exposed to 1 ATA air, 1 ATA heliox or 12 ATA heliox. Exposure to 12 ATA heliox antagonized the locomotor depressant effect of 4 and 6 mg/kg, but not 8 mg/kg diazepam. Hyperbaric exposure also antagonized the anticonvulsant effect of 8 and 24 mg/kg, but not 4 mg/kg, diazepam vs. 300 mg/kg isoniazid. Exposure to 12 ATA heliox did not significantly affect blood concentrations of diazepam or its metabolite n-desmethyl diazepam. The pharmacological characteristics of the antagonism (direct, surmountable, rightward shift in diazepam's dose-response curve) closely matched those seen in previous studies for hyperbaric antagonism of ethanol. The results add to the evidence that low level hyperbaric exposure is a direct, mechanistic antagonist that selectively antagonizes drugs that act via perturbation or allosteric modulation of receptor function. Moreover, the results suggest that allosteric coupling pathways, which transduce binding events on ligand-gated ion channels, may represent initial sites of action for ethanol.
The accumulation of β-amyloid protein (Aβ) is a key risk factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease. The ovarian sex steroid hormones 17β-estradiol (E(2)) and progesterone (P(4)) have been shown to regulate Aβ accumulation, although the underlying mechanism(s) remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we investigate the effects of E(2) and P(4) treatment on the expression levels of Aβ clearance factors including insulin-degrading enzyme, neprilysin, endothelin-converting enzyme 1 and 2, angiotensin-converting enzyme, and transthyretin, both in primary neuron cultures and female rat brains. Our results show that E(2) and P(4) affect the expression levels of several Aβ clearance factors in dose- and time-dependent manners. Most notably, expression of insulin-degrading enzyme is significantly increased by both hormones in cultured neurons and in vivo and is inversely associated with the soluble Aβ levels in vivo. These findings further define sex steroid hormone actions involved in regulation of Aβ, a relationship potentially important to therapeutic approaches aimed at reducing risk of Alzheimer's disease.