The lipid peroxidation product 4-hydroxynonenal impairs glutamate and glucose transport and choline acetyltransferase activity in NSC-19 motor neuron cells

Ward A. Pedersen, Neil R. Cashman, Mark P. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Both oxidative stress and excitotoxicity are implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We previously reported increased modification of proteins by 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), a product of membrane lipid peroxidation, in the spinal cords of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis relative to controls. In the current study, we examined the functional consequences of protein modification by HNE in a cell line with a motor neuron phenotype, NSC-19. Treatment of NSC-19 cells with FeSO4, which catalyzes lipid peroxidation, or HNE induced concentration-dependent decreases in glucose and glutamate transport. Vitamin E and propyl gallate blocked the impairment of glucose and glutamate transport caused by FeSO4 in these cells, but not that caused by HNE, whereas glutathione blocked the effects of FeSO4 as well as HNE. Both FeSO4 and HNE caused an increase in the number of apoptotic nuclei in NSC-19 cultures, but this occurred subsequent to the impairment of glucose and glutamate transport. Reductions in choline acetyltransferase activity were also observed in FeSO4- or HNE-treated NSC-19 cells before induction of apoptosis. Our results suggest that, prior to cell death, oxidative stress and HNE down-regulate cholinergic markers and impair glucose and glutamate transport in motor neurons, the latter of which may lead to excitotoxic degeneration of the cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes



  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Excitotoxicity free radicals
  • Glutathione
  • Iron
  • Oxidative stress
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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