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Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 May;58:98-108. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.01.019. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Gender differences in brain susceptibility to oxidative stress are mediated by levels of paraoxonase-2 expression.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, USA.

Abstract

Paraoxonase 2 (PON2), a member of a gene family that also includes PON1 and PON3, is expressed in most tissues, including the brain. In mouse brain, PON2 levels are highest in dopaminergic areas (e.g., striatum) and are higher in astrocytes than in neurons. PON2 is primarily located in mitochondria and exerts a potent antioxidant effect, protecting mouse CNS cells against oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to characterize PON2 expression and functions in the brains of male and female mice. Levels of PON2 (protein, mRNA, and lactonase activity) were higher in brain regions and cells of female mice. Astrocytes and neurons from male mice were significantly more sensitive (by 3- to 4-fold) to oxidative stress-induced toxicity than the same cells from female mice. Glutathione levels did not differ between genders. Importantly, no significant gender differences in susceptibility to the same oxidants were seen in cells from PON2(-/-) mice. Treatment with estradiol induced a time- and concentration-dependent increase in the levels of PON2 protein and mRNA in male (4.5-fold) and female (1.8-fold) astrocytes, which was dependent on activation of estrogen receptor-α. In ovariectomized mice, PON2 protein and mRNA were decreased to male levels in brain regions and in liver. Estradiol protected astrocytes from wild-type mice against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity, but did not protect cells from PON2(-/-) mice. These results suggest that PON2 is a novel major intracellular factor that protects CNS cells against oxidative stress and confers gender-dependent susceptibility to such stress. The lower expression of PON2 in males may have broad ramifications for susceptibility to diseases involving oxidative stress, including neurodegenerative diseases.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
23376469
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3622778
Free PMC Article
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