Preferential Zn2+ influx through Ca2+-permeable AMPA/kainate channels triggers prolonged mitochondrial superoxide production

Stefano L. Sensi, Hong Z. Yin, Sean G. Carriedo, Shyam Rao, John H. Weiss

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Abstract

Synaptically released Zn2+ can enter and cause injury to postsynaptic neurons. Microfluorimetric studies using the Zn2+-sensitive probe, Newport green, examined levels of [Zn2+]i attained in cultured cortical neurons on exposure to N-methyl-D-asparte, kainate, or high K+ (to activate voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels) in the presence of 300 μM Zn2+. Indicating particularly high permeability through Ca2+-permeable α-amino3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic-acid/kainate (Ca-A/K) channels, micromolar [Zn2+]i rises were observed only after kainate exposures and only in neurons expressing these channels [Ca-A/ K(+) neurons]. Further studies using the oxidation-sensitive dye, hydroethidine, revealed Zn2+-dependent reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation that paralleled the [Zn2+]i rises, with rapid oxidation observed only in the case of Zn2+ entry through Ca-A/K channels. Indicating a mitochondrial source of this ROS generation, hydroethidine oxidation was inhibited by the mitochondrial electron transport blocker, rotenone. Additional evidence for a direct interaction between Zn2+ and mitochondria was provided by the observation that the Zn2+ entry through Ca-A/K channels triggered rapid mitochondrial depolarization, as assessed by using the potential-sensitive dye tetramethylrhodamine ethylester. Whereas Ca2+ influx through Ca-A/K channels also triggers ROS production, the [Zn2+]i rises and subsequent ROS production are of more prolonged duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2414-2419
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume96
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 1999

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