Astrocytes Differentiated from LRRK2-I1371V Parkinson's-Disease-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Exhibit Similar Yield but Cell-Intrinsic Dysfunction in Glutamate Uptake and Metabolism, ATP Generation, and Nrf2-Mediated Glutathione Machinery


Owing to the presence of multiple enzymatic domains, LRRK2 has been associated with a diverse set of cellular functions and signaling pathways. It also has several pathological mutant-variants, and their incidences show ethnicity biases and drug-response differences with expression in dopaminergic-neurons and astrocytes. Here, we aimed to assess the cell-intrinsic effect of the LRRK2-I1371V mutant variant, prevalent in East Asian populations, on astrocyte yield and biology, involving Nrf2-mediated glutathione machinery, glutamate uptake and metabolism, and ATP generation in astrocytes derived from LRRK2-I1371V PD patient iPSCs and independently confirmed in LRRK2-I1371V-overexpressed U87 cells. Astrocyte yield (GFAP-immunopositive) was comparable between LRRK2-I1371V and healthy control (HC) populations; however, the astrocytic capability to mitigate oxidative stress in terms of glutathione content was significantly reduced in the mutant astrocytes, along with a reduction in the gene expression of the enzymes involved in glutathione machinery and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression. Simultaneously, a significant decrease in glutamate uptake was observed in LRRK2-I1371V astrocytes, with lower gene expression of glutamate transporters SLC1A2 and SLC1A3. The reduction in the protein expression of SLC1A2 was also directly confirmed. Enzymes catalyzing the generation of γ glutamyl cysteine (precursor of glutathione) from glutamate and the metabolism of glutamate to enter the Krebs cycle (α-ketoglutaric acid) were impaired, with significantly lower ATP generation in LRRK2-I1371V astrocytes. De novo glutamine synthesis via the conversion of glutamate to glutamine was also affected, indicating glutamate metabolism disorder. Our data demonstrate for the first time that the mutation in the LRRK2-I1371V allele causes significant astrocytic dysfunction with respect to Nrf2-mediated antioxidant machinery, AT -generation, and glutamate metabolism, even with comparable astrocyte yields.

Authors Banerjee R, Raj A, Potdar C, Kumar Pal P, Yadav R, Kamble N, Holla V, Datta I
Journal Cells
Publication Date 2023 Jun 8;12(12)
PubMed 37371062
PubMed Central PMC10297190
DOI 10.3390/cells12121592

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