4-hydroxynonenal, an aldehydic product of membrane lipid peroxidation, impairs glutamate transport and mitochondrial function in synaptosomes

J. N. Keller, R. J. Mark, A. J. Bruce, E. Blanc, J. D. Rothstein, K. Uchida, G. Waeg, M. P. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Removal of extracellular glutamate at synapses, by specific high- affinity glutamate transporters, is critical to prevent excitotoxic injury to neurons. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of an array of prominent neurodegenerative conditions that involve degeneration of synapses and neurons in glutamatergic pathways including stroke, and Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. Although cell culture data indicate that oxidative insults can impair key membrane regulatory systems including ion-motive ATPases and amino acid transport systems, the effects of oxidative stress on synapses, and the mechanisms that mediate such effects, are largely unknown. This study provides evidence that 4- hydroxynonenal, an aldehydic product of lipid peroxidation, mediates oxidation-induced impairment of glutamate transport and mitochondrial function in synapses. Exposure of rat cortical synaptosomes to 4- hydroxynonenal resulted in concentration- and time-dependent decreases in [3H]glutamate uptake, and mitochondrial function [assessed with the dye 3- (4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT)]. Other related aldehydes including malondialdehyde and hexanal had little or no effect on glutamate uptake or mitochondrial function. Exposure of synaptosomes to insults known to induce lipid peroxidation (FeSO4 and amyloid β-peptide) also impaired glutamate uptake and mitochondrial function. The antioxidants propyl gallate and glutathione prevented impairment of glutamate uptake and MTT reduction induced by FeSO4 and amyloid β-peptide, but not that induced by 4-hydroxynonenal. Western blot analyses using an antibody to 4-hydroxynonenal-conjugated proteins showed that 4-hydroxynonenal bound to multiple cell proteins including GLT-1, a glial glutamate transporter present at high levels in synaptosomes. 4- Hydroxynonenal itself induced lipid peroxidation suggesting that, in addition to binding directly to membrane regulatory proteins, 4-hydroxynonenal potentiates oxidative cascades. Collectively, these findings suggest that 4- hydroxynonenal plays important roles in oxidative impairment of synaptic functions that would be expected to promote excitotoxic cascades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-696
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 28 1997


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid β- peptide
  • Antioxidants
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Mitochondrial respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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