|Mitochondrial impairment induces excitotoxic death in cerebellar granule cells|
Authors: Antonella Bobba, Anna Atlante, Amalia Azzariti, Giuseppe Sgaramella, Pietro Calissano, Ersilia Marra
Istituto di Biomembrane e Bioenergetica, CNR, I-70126 Bari, Italy. email@example.com
A close relationship links mitochondria to cell death with mitochondrial function-impairment considered a major biochemical event in the process of both apoptosis and necrosis. We have used different inhibitors of oxidative phosphorylation, i.e. mitochondrial respiratory chain and ATP synthesis inhibitors, and an uncoupler to investigate the mode of cell death caused by these compounds in cerebellar granule cells. This study shows that in cultured cerebellar granule cells either oxidative phosphorylation inhibitors or uncoupler induce an excitotoxic-like reaction which is mediated by activation of NMDA receptors and is likely due to the release of glutamate. Consistently, survival may occur if the toxic action of glutamate is prevented.