Nicotine Attenuates Arachidonic Acid-Induced Apoptosis of Spinal Cord Neurons by Preventing Depletion of Neurotrophic Factors

Rosario Garrido, Joe E. Springer, Bernhard Hennig, Michal Toborek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increased levels of free fatty acids and, in particular, arachidonic acid can lead to induction of apoptosis of spinal cord neurons. Because of the importance of neurotrophic factors in cell survival and death, mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) were studied in cultured spinal cord neurons treated with arachidonic acid. In addition, the present study focused on the effects of nicotine and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) on these processes. A 2-h exposure to arachidonic acid markedly diminished expression of BDNF and FGF-2. These effects were fully prevented by pretreatment with 10 μM nicotine. Mecamylamine (a non-specific antagonist of nAChRs) and α-bungarotoxin (a specific antagonist of the nAChRα7) completely inhibited nicotine-mediated protection against arachidonic acid-induced alterations of BDNF and FGF-2. In addition, nicotine, BDNF and FGF-2 fully protected against arachidonic acid-induced apoptosis of spinal cord neurons. BDNF and FGF-2 were effective in prevention of apoptotic cell death even when applied 2 h after the beginning of arachidonic acid treatment. These results suggest that arachidonic acid can induce apoptosis of spinal cord neurons by depletion of neurotrophic factors and that nicotine can protect against these effects through the nAChRα7-mediated pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1213
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Fatty acids
  • Neuroprotection
  • Nicotinic receptors
  • Spinal cord trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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