Neuroprotection induced by N-acetylcysteine against cytosolic glutathione depletion-induced Ca2+ influx in dorsal root ganglion neurons of mice: Role of TRPV1 channels

Nazgroǧlu M., Çiǧ B., Özgül C.

Neuroscience, vol.242, pp.151-160, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 242
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.03.032
  • Journal Name: Neuroscience
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.151-160
  • Keywords: glutathione depletion, N-acetyl cysteine, oxidative stress, pain, channel antagonist
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


Glutathione (GSH) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) are thiol-containing antioxidants, and also act through a direct reaction with free radicals. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is the principal transduction channel serving as a polymodal detector. Despite the importance of oxidative stress in pain sensitivity, its role in TRPV1 modulation is poorly understood. NAC may also have a regulator role on TRPV1 channel activity in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron. Therefore, we tested the effects of GSH and NAC on TRPV1 channel current, Ca2+ influx, oxidative stress and caspase activity in the DRG of mice. DRG neurons were freshly isolated from mice and the neurons were incubated for 6 and 24h with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO). Pretreatment of cultured DRG neurons with NAC, results in a protection against oxidative damages. This neuroprotection is associated with the attenuation of a Ca2+ influx triggered by oxidative agents such as H2O2, 5,5'-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) and GSH depletion via BSO. Here, we demonstrate the contribution of cytosolic factors (related to thiol group depletion) on the activation of TRPV1 channels in this mechanism. TRPV1 channels are activated by various agents including capsaicin (CAP), the pungent component of hot chili peppers, and are blocked by capsazepine. An oxidative environment also increased CAP-evoked TRPV1 currents in the neurons. When NAC and GSH were included in the patch pipette as well as extracellularly in the chamber, TRPV1 channels were not activated by CAP and H2O2. TRPV1 inhibitors, 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate and N-(p-amylcinnamoyl)anthranilic acid strongly reduced BSO-induced oxidative toxicity and Ca2+ influx, in a manner similar to pretreatment with NAC and GSH. Caspase-3 and -9 activities of all groups were not changed by the agonists or antagonists. In conclusion, in our experimental model, TRPV1 channels are involved in the oxidative stress-induced neuronal death, and negative modulation of this channel activity by GSH and NAC pretreatment may account for their neuroprotective activity against oxidative stress. © 2013 IBRO.