Mitochondrial modulators in experimental Huntington's disease: Reversal of mitochondrial dysfunctions and cognitive deficits

Arpit Mehrotra, Abhinav Kanwal, Sanjay Kumar Banerjee, Rajat Sandhir

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Huntington's disease (HD) is a chronic neurodegenerative condition involving impaired mitochondrial functions. The present study evaluates the therapeutic potential of combined administration of mitochondrial modulators: alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-l-carnitine on mitochondrial dysfunctions in 3-NP-induced HD. Our results reveal 3-NP administration resulted in compromise of mitochondrial functions in terms of: (1) impaired activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes, altered cytochrome levels, reduced histochemical staining of complex-II and IV, reduced in-gel activity of complex-I to V, and reduced mRNA expression of respiratory chain complexes; (2) enhanced mitochondrial oxidative stress indicated by increased malondialdehyde, protein carbonyls, reactive oxygen species and nitrite levels, along with decreased Mn-superoxide dismutase and catalase activity; (3) mitochondrial structural changes measured by mitochondrial swelling, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and ultra-structure changes; (4) increased cytosolic cytochrome c levels, caspase-3 and -9 activity along with altered expression of apoptotic proteins (AIF, Bim, Bad, and Bax); and (5) impaired cognitive functions assessed using Morris water maze and Y-maze. Combination of mitochondrial modulators (alpha-lipoic acid + acetyl-l-carnitine) on the other hand ameliorated 3-NP-induced mitochondrial dysfunctions, oxidative stress, histologic alterations, and behavioral deficits, suggesting their therapeutic efficacy in the management of HD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2186-2200
Number of pages15
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Ageing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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