Objectives Peroxiredoxin (PRDX) thiol-based antioxidant enzymes have been identified in several neurological diseases. Astrocytes, multifunctional supporting cells, become activated during pathological processes and develop reactive and/or scarring phenotypes featuring characteristic changes in protein expression. Astrocyte activation can be beneficial although scarring astrocytes inhibit repair. Little is known about astrocytes expression of the PRDX family. However altered expression or inactivation of PRDXs could contribute to pathology. This preliminary study investigated PRDXs and related redox enzymes in a human astrocyte culture system that mimics the phenotypes of quiescent, reactive/scarring astrocytes in vivo.
Methods Human astrocytes, isolated from post mortem subventricular deep white matter were grown in conditions inducing quiescence or activation. RNA was extracted and cDNA obtained by reverse transcription PCR. Expression levels of PRDXs 2,3,5, sulfiredoxin (SRX), thioredoxin (TRX) and thioredoxin reductase (TR) in quiescent and activated astrocytes was assessed by qPCR.
Results Quiescent astrocytes expressed low basal PRDX 2, 3 and 5 mRNA. Following activation, PRDX 3 mRNA levels were unchanged. However, a threefold increase of PRDXs 2 and 5 expression was seen. Conversely high basal levels of SRX, TRX and TR mRNA in quiescent astrocytes, were decreased in activated astrocytes. Changes in PRDX expression are linked to astrocyte phenotype.
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