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Front Cell Neurosci. 2019 Jul 23;13:325. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2019.00325. eCollection 2019.

Systemic L-Buthionine -S-R-Sulfoximine Treatment Increases Plasma NGF and Upregulates L-cys/L-cys2 Transporter and γ-Glutamylcysteine Ligase mRNAs Through the NGF/TrkA/Akt/Nrf2 Pathway in the Striatum.

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Departamento de Medicina Genómica y Toxicología Ambiental, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México, Mexico.


Glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant intracellular antioxidant. GSH depletion leads to oxidative stress and neuronal damage in the central nervous system (CNS). In mice, the acute systemic inhibition of GSH synthesis by L-buthionine-S-R-sulfoximine (BSO) triggers a protective response and a subsequent increase in the CNS GSH content. This response might be modulated by a peripheral increment of circulating nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is an important activator of antioxidant pathways mediated by tropomyosin-related kinase receptor A (TrkA). Here, we report that peripheral administration of BSO increased plasma NGF levels. Additionally, BSO increased NGF levels and activated the NGF/TrkA/Akt pathway in striatal neurons. Moreover, the response in the striatum included an increased transcription of nrf2, gclm, lat1, eaac1, and xct, all of which are involved in antioxidant responses, and L-cys/L-cys2 and glutamate transporters. Using antibody against NGF confirmed that peripheral NGF activated the NGF/TrkA/Akt/Nrf2 pathway in the striatum and subsequently increased the transcription of gclm, nrf2, lat1, eaac1, and xct. These results provide evidence that the reduction of peripheral GSH pools increases peripheral NGF circulation that orchestrates a neuroprotective response in the CNS, at least in the striatum, through the NGF/TrkA/Akt/Nrf2 pathway.


BSO; GSH synthesis inhibition; Nrf2; brain protection; xCT

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