The basic mechanism(s) by which altered Cu homeostasis is toxic to hepatocytes and neurons, the two major cell types affected in copper storage diseases such as Wilson's disease (WD), remain unclear. Using human M17 neuroblastoma cells as a model to examine Cu toxicity, we found that there was a time- and concentration-dependent induction of neuronal death, such that at 24 h there was a ∼50 % reduction in viability with 25 μM Cu-glycine2. Cu-glycine2 (25:50 μM) treatment for 24 h significantly altered the expression of 296 genes, including 8 genes involved with apoptosis (BCL2-associated athanogene 3, BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19kDa interacting protein caspase 5, regulator of Fas-induced apoptosis, V-jun sarcoma virus 17 oncogene homolog, claudin 5, prostaglandin E receptor 3 and protein tyrosine phosphatase, non-receptor type 6). Surprisingly, changes in the expression of more ‘traditional’ apoptotic genes (Bcl-2, Bax, Bak and Bad) did not vary more than 20 %. To test whether the induction of apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells was via post-translational mechanisms, we measured the protein expression of these apoptotic markers in M17 neuroblastoma cells treated with Cu-glycine2 (0-100 μM) for 24-48 h. Compared with glycine treated cells, Cu-glycine2 reduced Bcl-2 expression by 50 %, but increased Bax and Bak expression by 130% and 400 %, respectively. To assess whether Cu also induced apoptotic cell death in a mouse model of WD, we measured the expression of these apoptotic markers in the liver and brain of mice expressing an ATP7b gene mutation (txJ mice) at 10 months of age (near the end of their lives when overt liver pathology is displayed). Changes in the liver expression of these apoptotic markers in txJ mice compared to background mice mirrored those of Cu treated neuroblastoma cells. In contrast, few changes in apoptotic protein expression were detected in the brain between txJ and background mice, indicating the txJ mouse is a good model of hepatic, but not brain, Cu toxicity. Our results indicate that Cu-induction of neuronal apoptosis does not require de novo synthesis or degradation of apoptotic genes, and that Cu accumulation in the aged txJ mouse brain is insufficient to induce apoptosis.
|Journal||International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|