The aging process clearly increases the demand for antioxidant protection, especially in the brain, involving that provided by α-tocopherol (αT). However, little is known about the age-related changes in brain αT levels and the influencing effect of gender on it, in human or murine samples as well. Accordingly, the aim of the current study was to detect age-, gender- and region-specific changes in αT concentrations in mouse brain tissue and to assess the influencing effect of plasma αT levels on it. Female and male C57BL/6 mice at the ages of 6, 16 and 66 weeks (n = 9 in each group) were applied. αT levels were determined with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) from the striatum, cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, brainstem and from plasma samples. A detailed validation process was carried out for the applied HPLC method as well. The results demonstrated that brain αT levels significantly increased in the striatum, cortex, and hippocampus with aging in both genders, but in a more pronounced way in females with an increasing magnitude of this difference. In case of the cerebellum, a moderate elevation could be detected only in females, whereas in case of the brainstem there was no significant change in αT level. With regard to plasma samples, no clear trend could be identified. The current study is the first to present age-dependent gender-specific changes in αT level in certain brain regions of the C57Bl/6 mouse strain, and may provide meaningful information for future therapeutic studies targeting aging-related processes.
The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) is a key regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, respiration and adaptive thermogenesis. Besides the full-length protein (FL-PGC-1α), several other functionally active PGC-1α isoforms were identified as a result of alternative splicing (e.g., N-truncated PGC-1α; NT-PGC-1α) or alternative promoter usage (e.g., central nervous system-specific PGC-1α isoforms; CNS-PGC-1α). Achieving neuroprotection via CNS-targeted pharmacological stimulation is limited due to poor penetration of the blood brain barrier (BBB) by the proposed pharmaceutical agents, so preconditioning emerged as another option. The current study aimed to examine of how the expression levels of FL-, NT-, CNS- and reference PGC-1α isoforms change in different brain regions following various 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) treatment regimens, including chronic low-dose treatment for preconditioning. Ninety minutes following the acute treatment regimen, the expression levels of FL-, NT- and CNS-PGC-1α isoforms increased significantly in the striatum, cortex and cerebellum. However, this elevation diminished 7days following the last MPTP injection in the acute treatment regimen. The chronic low-dose administration of MPTP, which did not cause significant toxic effects in light of the relatively unaltered dopamine levels, did not result in any significant change of PGC-1α expression. The elevation of PGC-1α levels following acute treatment may demonstrate a short-term compensatory mechanism against mitochondrial damage induced by the complex I inhibitor MPTP. However, drug-induced preconditioning by chronic low-dose MPTP seems not to induce protective responses via the PGC-1α system.