Ukr.Biochem.J. 2011; Volume 83, Issue 6, Nov-Dec, pp. 46-55

The effect of permeability transition pore opening on reactive oxygen species production in rat brain mitochondria

O. V. Akopova, L. I. Kolchinskaya, V. I. Nosar, A. N. Smirnov, M. K. Malysheva, I. N. Mankovska, V. F. Sagach

Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv;

The influence of mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) opening on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the rat brain mitochondria was studied. It was shown that ROS production is regulated differently by the rate of oxygen consumption and membrane potential, dependent on steady-state or non-equilibrium conditions. Under steady-state conditions, at constant rate of Ca2+-cycling and oxygen consumption, ROS production is potential-dependent and decreases with the inhibition of respiration and mitochondrial depolarization. The constant rate of ROS release is in accord with proportional dependence of the rate of ROS formation on that of oxygen consumption. On the contrary, transition to non-equilibrium state, due to the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria and progressive respiration inhibition, results in the loss of proportionality in the rate of ROS production on the rate of respiration and an exponential rise of ROS production with time, independent of membrane potential. Independent of steady-state or non-equilibrium conditions, the rate of ROS formation is controlled by the rate of potential-dependent uptake of Ca2+ which is the rate-limiting step in ROS production. It was shown that MPTP opening differently regulates ROS production, dependent on Ca2+ concentration. At low calcium MPTP opening results in the decrease in ROS production because of partial mitochondrial depolarization, in spite of sustained increase in oxygen consumption rate by a cyclosporine A-sensitive component due to simultaneous work of Ca2+-uniporter and MPTP as Ca2+-influx and efflux pathways. The effect of MPTP opening at low Ca2+ concentrations is similar to that of Ca2+-ionophore, A-23187. At high calcium MPTP opening results in the increase of ROS release due to the rapid transition to non-equilibrium state because of cytochrome c loss and progressive gating of electron flow in respiratory chain. Thus, under physiological conditions MPTP opening at low intracellular calcium could attenuate oxidative damage and the impairment of neuronal functions by diminishing ROS formation in mitochondria.

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