Pharmacological Inhibition of Mitochondrial Carbonic Anhydrases Protects Mouse Cerebral Pericytes from High Glucose-induced Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis


Diabetes-associated complications in the microvasculature of the brain are caused by oxidative stress, generated by overproduction of reactive oxygen species from hyperglycemia-induced accelerated oxidative metabolism of glucose. Pericytes, essential for the viability of the microvasculature, are especially susceptible to oxidative stress. Mitochondrial carbonic anhydrases, regulators of the oxidative metabolism of glucose, determine the rate of reactive oxygen species production and inhibition of mitochondrial carbonic anhydrases rescues glucose-induced pericyte loss in the diabetic mouse brain. We hypothesized that high glucose induces intracellular oxidative stress and pericyte apoptosis and that inhibition of mitochondrial carbonic anhydrases protects pericytes from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. To validate our hypothesis, conditionally immortalized cerebral pericyte (IPC) cultures were established from Immortomice to investigate the effect of high glucose on oxidative stress and pericyte apoptosis. The IPCs expressed pericyte markers and induced high transendothelial electrical resistance and low permeability in brain endothelial cell monolayers comparable with pericytes in primary cultures. The IPCs also secreted cytokines constitutively and in response to lipopolysaccharide similar to pericytes. High glucose caused oxidative stress and apoptosis of these cells, with both oxidative stress and apoptosis significantly reduced after mitochondrial carbonic anhydrase inhibition. These results provide the first evidence that pharmacological inhibition of mitochondrial carbonic anhydrases attenuates pericyte apoptosis caused by high glucose-induced oxidative stress. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors have a long history of safe clinical use and can be immediately evaluated for this new indication in translational research. Thus, mitochondrial carbonic anhydrases may provide a new therapeutic target for oxidative stress-related illnesses of the brain.




National Institutes of Health


This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health [Grants R01-DK083485, RC4-EY021357, EY016695, P30-EY016665, and P30-CA014520].

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