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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2596;

Ethanol (E) Impairs Fetal Brain GSH Homeostasis by Inhibiting Excitatory Amino-Acid Carrier 1 (EAAC1)-Mediated Cysteine Transport

Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th Street, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 21 November 2017 / Accepted: 30 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Central among the fetotoxic responses to in utero ethanol (E) exposure is redox-shift related glutathione (GSH) loss and apoptosis. Previously, we reported that despite an E-generated Nrf2 upregulation, fetal neurons still succumb. In this study, we investigate if the compromised GSH results from an impaired inward transport of cysteine (Cys), a precursor of GSH in association with dysregulated excitatory amino acid carrier1 (EAAC1), a cysteine transporter. In utero binge model involves administration of isocaloric dextrose or 20% E (3.5 g/kg)/ by gavage at 12 h intervals to pregnant Sprague Dawley (SD) rats, starting gestation day (gd) 17 with a final dose on gd19, 2 h prior to sacrifice. Primary cerebral cortical neurons (PCNs) from embryonic day 16–17 fetal SD rats were the in vitro model. E reduced both PCN and cerebral cortical GSH and Cys up to 50% and the abridged GSH could be blocked by administration of N-acetylcysteine. E reduced EAAC1 protein expression in utero and in PCNs (p < 0.05). This was accompanied by a 60–70% decrease in neuron surface expression of EAAC1 along with significant reductions of EAAC1/Slc1a1 mRNA (p < 0.05). In PCNs, EAAC1 knockdown significantly decreased GSH but not oxidized glutathione (GSSG) illustrating that while not the sole provider of Cys, EAAC1 plays an important role in neuron GSH homeostasis. These studies strongly support the concept that in both E exposed intact fetal brain and cultured PCNs a mechanism underlying E impairment of GSH homeostasis is reduction of import of external Cys which is mediated by perturbations of EAAC1 expression/function. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethanol; fetal; brain; neuron; glutathione; cysteine; EAAT3/EAAC1/Slc1a1 ethanol; fetal; brain; neuron; glutathione; cysteine; EAAT3/EAAC1/Slc1a1

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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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Patel, D.; Mahimainathan, L.; Narasimhan, M.; Rathinam, M.; Henderson, G. Ethanol (E) Impairs Fetal Brain GSH Homeostasis by Inhibiting Excitatory Amino-Acid Carrier 1 (EAAC1)-Mediated Cysteine Transport. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2596.

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