Lycopene Prevents Amyloid [Beta]-Induced Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress and Dysfunctions in Cultured Rat Cortical Neurons
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Brains affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD) show a large spectrum of mitochondrial alterations at both morphological and genetic level. The causal link between β-amyloid (Aβ) and mitochondrial dysfunction has been established in cellular models of AD. We observed previously that lycopene, a member of the carotenoid family of phytochemicals, could counteract neuronal apoptosis and cell damage induced by Aβ and other neurotoxic substances, and that this neuroprotective action somehow involved the mitochondria. The present study aims to investigate the effects of lycopene on mitochondria in cultured rat cortical neurons exposed to Aβ. It was found that lycopene attenuated Aβ-induced oxidative stress, as evidenced by the decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species generation and mitochondria-derived superoxide production. Additionally, lycopene ameliorated Aβ-induced mitochondrial morphological alteration, opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pores and the consequent cytochrome c release. Lycopene also improved mitochondrial complex activities and restored ATP levels in Aβ-treated neuron. Furthermore, lycopene prevented mitochondrial DNA damages and improved the protein level of mitochondrial transcription factor A in mitochondria. Those results indicate that lycopene protects mitochondria against Aβ-induced damages, at least in part by inhibiting mitochondrial oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function. These beneficial effects of lycopene may account for its protection against Aβ-induced neurotoxicity.
KeywordsAlzheimer’s disease β-Amyloid Lycopene Mitochondria Neurons
Reactive oxygen species
Mitochondrial permeability transition pores
Normalized relative fluorescence units
- COX I
Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I
- COX IV
Cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV
NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6
We are particularly grateful to Dr. Fanzheng Yang (Central university of Finance and Economics) for her critical review and valuable suggestions that improved the quality of this manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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