NADPH oxidase contributes to oxidative damage and mitochondrial impairment induced by acute ethanol treatment in rat hippocampal neurons
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Acute ethanol treatment induces neurodegeneration in cultured neurons and can lead to brain damage in animal models. Neuronal cells exposed to ethanol showed an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS), oxidative damage and mitochondrial impairment contributing to synaptic failure. However, the underlying mechanisms of these events are not well understood. Here, we studied the contribution of NADPH oxidase, as a relevant source of ROS production in the brain, to mitochondrial impairment and oxidative stress induced by ethanol. We used primary hippocampal neurons subjected to an acute treatment of ethanol at increasing concentrations (25, 50, and 75 mM, 24 h), and we evaluated ROS production, mitochondrial function, and synaptic vesicle activity. Our studies showed that after ethanol administration, hippocampal neurons presented an increase in ROS levels, mitochondrial dysfunction, calcium handling defects, and synaptic impairment. Interestingly, treatment with the NADPH inhibitor, apocynin, significantly prevented oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and the impairment of synaptic vesicle activity induced by ethanol treatment. These results indicate that NADPH oxidase could be a key participant in the molecular mechanism by which alcohol affects the brain. © 2020 Elsevier Ltd
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