Baicalein reverts L-valine-induced persistent sodium current up-modulation in primary cortical neurons

Silvia Caioli, Elena Candelotti, Jens Z. Pedersen, Luana Saba, Alessia Antonini, Sandra Incerpi, Cristina Zona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

L-valine is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) largely used as dietary integrator by athletes and involved in some inherited rare diseases such as maple syrup urine disease. This pathology is caused by an altered BCAA metabolism with the accumulation of toxic keto acids in tissues and body fluids with consequent severe neurological symptoms. In animal models of BCAA accumulation, increased oxidative stress levels and lipid peroxidation have been reported. The aim of this study was to analyze both whether high BCAA concentrations in neurons induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and whether, by performing electrophysiological recordings, the neuronal functional properties are modified. Our results demonstrate that in primary cortical cultures, a high dose of valine increases ROS production and provokes neuronal hyperexcitability because the action potential frequencies and the persistent sodium current amplitudes increase significantly compared to non-treated neurons. Since Baicalein, a flavone obtained from the Scutellaria root, has been shown to act as a strong antioxidant with neuroprotective effects, we evaluated its possible antioxidant activity in primary cortical neurons chronically exposed to L-valine. The preincubation of cortical neurons with Baicalein prevents the ROS production and is able to revert both the neuronal hyperexcitability and the increase of the persistent sodium current, indicating a direct correlation between the ROS production and the altered physiological parameters. In conclusion, our data show that the electrophysiological alterations of cortical neurons elicited by high valine concentration are due to the increase in ROS production, suggesting much caution in the intake of BCAA dietary integrators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-575
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume1862
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • Antioxidant
  • Baicalein
  • Branched-chain amino acids
  • Neuronal hyperexcitability
  • Persistent sodium current
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine

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