Rotenone exposure has emerged as an environmental risk factor for inflammation-associated neurodegenerative diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms responsible for the harmful effects of rotenone in the brain remain poorly understood. Herein, we report that myeloperoxidase (MPO) may have a potential regulatory role in rotenone-exposed brain-resident immune cells. We show that microglia, unlike neurons, do not undergo death; instead, they exhibit distinctive activated properties under rotenone-exposed conditions. Once activated by rotenone, microglia show increased production of reactive oxygen species, particularly HOCl. Notably, MPO, an HOCl-producing enzyme that is undetectable under normal conditions, is significantly increased after exposure to rotenone. MPO-exposed glial cells also display characteristics of activated cells, producing proinflammatory cytokines and increasing their phagocytic activity. Interestingly, our studies with MPO inhibitors and MPO-knockout mice reveal that MPO deficiency potentiates, rather than inhibits, the rotenone-induced activated state of glia and promotes glial cell death. Furthermore, rotenone-triggered neuronal injury was more apparent in co-cultures with glial cells from Mpo -/- mice than in those from wild-type mice. Collectively, our data provide evidence that MPO has dual functionality under rotenone-exposed conditions, playing a critical regulatory role in modulating pathological and protective events in the brain.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (grant A090570-1002-0000100 ).