NRF2 Activation Restores Disease Related Metabolic Deficiencies in Olfactory Neurosphere-Derived Cells from Patients with Sporadic Parkinson's Disease
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Background Without appropriate cellular models the etiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease remains unknown. We recently reported a novel patient-derived cellular model generated from biopsies of the olfactory mucosa (termed olfactory neurosphere-derived (hONS) cells) which express functional and genetic differences in a disease-specific manner. Transcriptomic analysis of Patient and Control hONS cells identified the NRF2 transcription factor signalling pathway as the most differentially expressed in Parkinson's disease. Results We tested the robustness of our initial findings by including additional cell lines and confirmed that hONS cells from Patients had 20% reductions in reduced glutathione levels and MTS [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carbo?xymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-te?trazolium,inner salt] metabolism compared to cultures from healthy Control donors. We also confirmed that Patient hONS cells are in a state of oxidative stress due to higher production of H2O2 than Control cultures. siRNA-mediated ablation of NRF2 in Control donor cells decreased both total glutathione content and MTS metabolism to levels detected in cells from Parkinson's Disease patients. Conversely, and more importantly, we showed that activation of the NRF2 pathway in Parkinson's disease hONS cultures restored glutathione levels and MTS metabolism to Control levels. Paradoxically, transcriptomic analysis after NRF2 pathway activation revealed an increased number of differentially expressed mRNAs within the NRF2 pathway in L-SUL treated Patient-derived hONS cells compared to L-SUL treated Controls, even though their metabolism was restored to normal. We also identified differential expression of the PI3K/AKT signalling pathway, but only post-treatment. Conclusions Our results confirmed NRF2 as a potential therapeutic target for Parkinson's disease and provided the first demonstration that NRF2 function was inducible in Patient-derived cells from donors with uniquely varied genetic backgrounds. However, our results also demonstrated that the response of PD patient-derived cells was not co-ordinated in the same way as in Control cells. This may be an important factor when developing new therapeutics.
© 2011, Cook et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CCAL. (http://www.plos.org/journals/license.html)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified