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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Feb 9;1410(2):215-28.

Nitric oxide, mitochondria and neurological disease.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, National Hospital, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK. sheales@ion.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Damage to the mitochondrial electron transport chain has been suggested to be an important factor in the pathogenesis of a range of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. There is also a growing body of evidence to implicate excessive or inappropriate generation of nitric oxide (NO) in these disorders. It is now well documented that NO and its toxic metabolite, peroxynitrite (ONOO-), can inhibit components of the mitochondrial respiratory chain leading, if damage is severe enough, to a cellular energy deficiency state. Within the brain, the susceptibility of different brain cell types to NO and ONOO- exposure may be dependent on factors such as the intracellular reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration and an ability to increase glycolytic flux in the face of mitochondrial damage. Thus neurones, in contrast to astrocytes, appear particularly vulnerable to the action of these molecules. Following cytokine exposure, astrocytes can increase NO generation, due to de novo synthesis of the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Whilst the NO/ONOO- so formed may not affect astrocyte survival, these molecules may diffuse out to cause mitochondrial damage, and possibly cell death, to other cells, such as neurones, in close proximity. Evidence is now available to support this scenario for neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis. In other conditions, such as ischaemia, increased availability of glutamate may lead to an activation of a calcium-dependent nitric oxide synthase associated with neurones. Such increased/inappropriate NO formation may contribute to energy depletion and neuronal cell death. The evidence available for NO/ONOO--mediated mitochondrial damage in various neurological disorders is considered and potential therapeutic strategies are proposed.

PMID:
10076028
DOI:
10.1016/s0005-2728(98)00168-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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