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Antioxidants 2014, 3(4), 843-865; doi:10.3390/antiox3040843

A Cystine-Rich Whey Supplement (Immunocal®) Delays Disease Onset and Prevents Spinal Cord Glutathione Depletion in the hSOD1G93A Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

1
Department of Biological Sciences and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, University of Denver, 2199 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80208, USA
2
Research Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 1055 Clermont St., Denver, CO 80220, USA
3
Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Medicine and Neuroscience Program, University of Colorado Denver, 12700 E 19th Ave., Aurora, CO 80045, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 October 2014 / Revised: 22 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress and Neurodegenerative Diseases)
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Abstract

Depletion of the endogenous antioxidant, glutathione (GSH), underlies progression of the devastating neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Thus, strategies aimed at elevating GSH may yield new therapeutics for ALS. Here, we investigated the effects of a unique non-denatured whey protein supplement, Immunocal®, in the transgenic Gly position 93 to Ala (G93A) mutant hSOD1 (hSOD1G93A) mouse model of ALS. Immunocal® is rich in the GSH precursor, cystine, and is therefore capable of bolstering GSH content. Transgenic hSOD1G93A mice receiving Immunocal® displayed a significant delay in disease onset compared to untreated hSOD1G93A controls. Additionally, Immunocal® treatment significantly decreased the rate of decline in grip strength and prevented disease-associated reductions in whole blood and spinal cord tissue GSH levels in end-stage hSOD1G93A mice. However, Immunocal® did not extend survival, likely due to its inability to preserve the mitochondrial GSH pool in spinal cord. Combination treatment with Immunocal® and the anti-glutamatergic compound, riluzole, delayed disease onset and extended survival in hSOD1G93A mice. These findings demonstrate that sustaining tissue GSH with Immunocal® only modestly delays disease onset and slows the loss of skeletal muscle strength in hSOD1G93A mice. Moreover, the inability of Immunocal® to rescue mitochondrial GSH in spinal cord provides a possible mechanism for its lack of effect on survival and is a limiting factor in the potential utility of this supplement as a therapeutic for ALS. View Full-Text
Keywords: Immunocal®; whey protein; oxidative stress; glutathione; cysteine; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Immunocal®; whey protein; oxidative stress; glutathione; cysteine; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ross, E.K.; Winter, A.N.; Wilkins, H.M.; Sumner, W.A.; Duval, N.; Patterson, D.; Linseman, D.A. A Cystine-Rich Whey Supplement (Immunocal®) Delays Disease Onset and Prevents Spinal Cord Glutathione Depletion in the hSOD1G93A Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Antioxidants 2014, 3, 843-865.

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