N-Acetylcysteine amide protects against methamphetamine-induced oxidative stress and neurotoxicity in immortalized human brain endothelial cells.
Zhang X, Banerjee A, Banks WA, Ercal N.
Department of Chemistry, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 400 West 11th Street, 236 Schrenk Hall, Rolla, MO 65409, USA.
Oxidative stress plays an important role in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Methamphetamine (METH) is an amphetamine analog that causes degeneration of the dopaminergic system in mammals and subsequent oxidative stress. In our present study, we have used immortalized human brain microvascular endothelial (HBMVEC) cells to test whether N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA), a novel antioxidant, prevents METH-induced oxidative stress in vitro. Our studies showed that NACA protects against METH-induced oxidative stress in HBMVEC cells. NACA significantly protected the integrity of our blood brain barrier (BBB) model, as shown by permeability and trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TEER) studies. NACA also significantly increased the levels of intracellular glutathione (GSH) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels increased dramatically after METH exposure, but this increase was almost completely prevented when the cells were treated with NACA. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) also increased after METH exposure, but was reduced to control levels with NACA treatment, as measured by dichlorofluorescin (DCF). These results suggest that NACA protects the BBB integrity in vitro, which could prevent oxidative stress-induced damage; therefore, the effectiveness of this antioxidant should be evaluated for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases in the future.
Brain antioxidant systems in human methamphetamine users.
Mirecki A, Fitzmaurice P, Ang L, Kalasinsky KS, Peretti FJ, Aiken SS, Wickham DJ, Sherwin A, Nobrega JN, Forman HJ, Kish SJ.
Human Neurochemical Pathology Laboratory, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 250 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5T 1R8.
Animal data suggest that the widely abused psychostimulant methamphetamine can damage brain dopamine neurones by causing dopamine-dependent oxidative stress; however, the relevance to human methamphetamine users is unclear. We measured levels of key antioxidant defences [reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione, six major GSH system enzymes, copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), uric acid] that are often altered after exposure to oxidative stress, in autopsied brain of human methamphetamine users and matched controls. Changes in the total (n = 20) methamphetamine group were limited to the dopamine-rich caudate (the striatal subdivision with the most severe dopamine loss) in which only activity of CuZnSOD (+ 14%) and GSSG levels (+ 58%) were changed. In the six methamphetamine users with severe (- 72 to - 97%) caudate dopamine loss, caudate CuZnSOD activity (+ 20%) and uric acid levels (+ 63%) were increased with a trend for decreased (- 35%) GSH concentration. Our data suggest that brain levels of many antioxidant systems are preserved in methamphetamine users and that GSH depletion, commonly observed during severe oxidative stress, might occur only with severe dopamine loss. Increased CuZnSOD and uric acid might reflect compensatory responses to oxidative stress. Future studies are necessary to establish whether these changes are associated with oxidative brain damage in human methamphetamine users.