Mitochondrial division inhibitor 1 protects against mutant huntingtin-induced abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and neuronal damage in Huntington's disease

Maria Manczak, P. Hemachandra Reddy

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    32 Scopus citations


    The objective of this study was to determine the protective effects of the mitochondrial division inhibitor 1 (Mdivi1) in striatal neurons that stably express mutant Htt (STHDhQ111/Q111) and wild-type (WT) Htt (STHDhQ7/Q7). Using gene expression analysis, biochemical methods, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and confocal microscopy methods, we studied (i) mitochondrial and synaptic activities by measuring mRNA and the protein levels of mitochondrial and synaptic genes, (ii) mitochondrial function and (iii) ultra-structural changes in mutant Htt neurons relative to WT Htt neurons.We also studied these parameters in Mdivil-treated and untreated WTand mutant Htt neurons. Increased expressions of mitochondrial fission genes, decreased expression of fusion genes and synaptic genes were found in the mutant Htt neurons relative to the WT Htt neurons. Electron microscopy of the mutant Htt neurons revealed a significantly increased number of mitochondria, indicating that mutant Htt fragments mitochondria. Biochemical analysis revealed defective mitochondrial functioning. In the Mdiviltreated mutant Htt neurons, fission genes were down-regulated, and fusion genes were up-regulated, suggesting that Mdivil decreases fission activity. Synaptic genes were up-regulated, and mitochondrial function was normal in the Mdivi1-treated mutant Htt neurons. Immunoblotting findings of mitochondrial and synaptic proteins agreed with mRNA findings. The TEM studies revealed that increased numbers of structurally intact mitochondria were present in Mdivi1-treated mutant Htt neurons. Increased synaptic and mitochondrial fusion genes and decreased fission genes were found in the Mdivi1-treated WT Htt neurons, indicating that Mdivi1 beneficially affects healthy neurons. Taken together, these findings suggest that Mdivi1 is protective against mutant Htt-induced mitochondrial and synaptic damage in HD neurons and that Mdivi1 may be a promising molecule for the treatment of HD patients.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)7308-7325
    Number of pages18
    JournalHuman molecular genetics
    Issue number25
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Genetics
    • Genetics(clinical)

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