Increased susceptibility of striatal mitochondria to calcium-induced permeability transition

Nickolay Brustovetsky, Tatiana Brustovetsky, Kevin J. Purl, Michela Capano, Martin Crompton, Janet M. Dubinsky

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147 Scopus citations


Mitochondria were simultaneously isolated from striatum and cortex of adult rats and compared in functional assays for their sensitivity to calcium activation of the permeability transition. Striatal mitochondria showed an increased dose-dependent sensitivity to Ca2+ compared with cortical mitochondria, as measured by mitochondrial depolarization, swelling, Ca2+ uptake, reactive oxygen species production, and respiration. Ratios of ATP to ADP were lower in striatal mitochondria exposed to calcium despite equal amounts of ADP and ATP under respiring and nonrespiring conditions. The Ca2+-induced changes were inhibited by cyclosporin A or ADP. These responses are consistent with Ca2+ activation of both low and high permeability pathways constituting the mitochondrial permeability transition. In addition to the striatal supersensitivity to induction of the permeability transition, cyclosporin A inhibition was less potent in striatal mitochondria. Immunoblots indicated that striatal mitochondria contained more cyclophilin D than cortical mitochondria. Thus striatal mitochondria may be selectively vulnerable to the permeability transition. Subsequent mitochondrial dysfunction could contribute to the initial toxicity of striatal neurons in Huntington's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4858-4867
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2003


  • Brain mitochondria
  • Cyclophilin D
  • Huntington's disease
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Permeability transition
  • Regional differences


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