Cytosolic acidification and intracellular zinc release in hippocampal neurons

Authors


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Lech Kiedrowski, The Psychiatric Institute, 1601 W. Taylor Street, Room 564, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. E-mail: lkiedr@psych.uic.edu

Abstract

J. Neurochem. (2012) 121, 438–450.

Abstract

In neurons exposed to glutamate, Ca2+ influx triggers intracellular Zn2+ release via an as yet unclear mechanism. As glutamate induces a Ca2+-dependent cytosolic acidification, the present work tested the relationships among intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), intracellular pH (pHi), and [Zn2+]i. Cultured hippocampal neurons were exposed to glutamate and glycine (Glu/Gly), while [Zn2+]i, [Ca2+]i and pHi were monitored using FluoZin-3, Fura2-FF, and 2′,7′-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein, respectively. Glu/Gly applications decreased pHi to 6.1 and induced intracellular Zn2+ release in a Ca2+-dependent manner, as expected. The pHi drop reduced the affinity of FluoZin-3 and Fura-2-FF for Zn2+. The rate of Glu/Gly-induced [Zn2+]i increase was not correlated with the rate of [Ca2+]i increase. Instead, the extent of [Zn2+]i elevations corresponded well to the rate of pHi drop. Namely, [Zn2+]i increased more in more highly acidified neurons. Inhibiting the mechanisms responsible for the Ca2+-dependent pHi drop (plasmalemmal Ca2+ pump and mitochondria) counteracted the Glu/Gly-induced intracellular Zn2+ release. Alkaline pH (8.5) suppressed Glu/Gly-induced intracellular Zn2+ release whereas acidic pH (6.0) enhanced it. A pHi drop to 6.0 (without any Ca2+ influx or glutamate receptor activation) led to intracellular Zn2+ release; the released Zn2+ (free Zn2+ plus Zn2+ bound to Fura-2FF and FluoZin-3) reached 1 μM.

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