Postnatal brain development and neural cell differentiation modulate mitochondrial Bax and BH3 peptide-induced cytochrome c release

B. M. Polster, C. L. Robertson, C. J. Bucci, M. Suzuki, G. Fiskum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bax mediates cytochrome c release and apoptosis during neurodevelopment. Brain mitochondria that were isolated from 8-day, 17-day, and adult rats displayed decreasing levels of mitochondrial Bax. The amount of cytochrome c released from brain mitochondria by a peptide containing the BH3 cell death domain decreased with increasing age. However, approximately 60% of cytochrome c in adult brain mitochondria could be released by the BH3 peptide in the presence of exogenous human recombinant Bax. Mitochondrial Bax was downregulated in PC12S neural cells differentiated with nerve growth factor, and mitochondria isolated from these cells demonstrated decreased sensitivity to BH3-peptide-induced cytochrome c release. These results demonstrate that immature brain mitochondria and mitochondria from undifferentiated neural cells are particularly sensitive to cytochrome c release mediated by endogenous Bax and a BH3 death domain peptide. Postnatal developmental changes in mitochondrial Bax levels may contribute to the increased susceptibility of neurons to pathological apoptosis in immature animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalCell death and differentiation
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • BH3
  • Bax
  • Brain mitochondria
  • Cytochrome c
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Pheochromocytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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