Publication date: Jun 04, 2019
The basis for region-specific neuronal toxicity in Huntington disease is unknown. Here, we show that region-specific neuronal vulnerability is a substrate-driven response in astrocytes. Glucose is low in HdhQ(150/150) animals, and astrocytes in each brain region adapt by metabolically reprogramming their mitochondria to use endogenous, non-glycolytic metabolites as an alternative fuel. Each region is characterized by distinct metabolic pools, and astrocytes adapt accordingly. The vulnerable striatum is enriched in fatty acids, and mitochondria reprogram by oxidizing them as an energy source but at the cost of escalating reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced damage. The cerebellum is replete with amino acids, which are precursors for glucose regeneration through the pentose phosphate shunt or gluconeogenesis pathways. ROS is not elevated, and this region sustains little damage. While mhtt expression imposes disease stress throughout the brain, sensitivity or resistance arises from an adaptive stress response, which is inherently region specific. Metabolic reprogramming may have relevance to other diseases.
Polyzos, A.A., Lee, D.Y., Datta, R., Hauser, M., Budworth, H., Holt, A., Mihalik, S., Goldschmidt, P., Frankel, K., Trego, K., Bennett, M.J., Vockley, J., Xu, K., Gratton, E., and McMurray, C.T. Metabolic Reprogramming in Astrocytes Distinguishes Region-Specific Neuronal Susceptibility in Huntington Mice. 06517. 2019 Cell Metab (29):6.
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