Persistent stimulation of energy consumption, induced by depolarization with veratridine, mimics a condition of abnormally enhanced energy demand and causes an increase in the oxygen consumption rate (QO2) and in the interconversion of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHc) into its active form. Wistar rats at the age of 26 months do not show alterations of QO2 and of the ability of veratridine to increase QO2 in comparison with 6 month-old animals whereas the active form of PDHc is slightly but significantly reduced. Idebenone, a ubiquinone-like molecule (1 μM), does not affect the QO2 or PDHc activation state in resting conditions but attenuates the veratridine-challenged increase in QO2 at all the ages tested and attenuates the increase in the percentage of PDHa reaching statistical significance in 26-month-old rats. At higher concentration (10 μM) idebenone totally abolishes the veratridine-induced increase in PDHa also in the 6 month-old rats. At the lower concentration, the drug does not affect the increase in QO2 induced by an uncoupler of oxidative phosphorylation. The results obtained suggest a protective effect of idebenone on the cerebral tissue against stressful conditions; this action may be exerted at the level of some mitochondrial component and/or on the Na+ homeostasis.
- energy metabolic stress
- oxygen consumption
- pyruvate dehydrogenase complex
ASJC Scopus subject areas