Tetrahydrocurcumin ameliorates homocysteine-mediated mitochondrial remodeling in brain endothelial cells

Jonathan C. Vacek, Jyotirmaya Behera, Akash K. George, Pradip K. Kamat, Anuradha Kalani, Neetu Tyagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Homocysteine (Hcy) causes endothelial dysfunction by inducing oxidative stress in most neurodegenerative disorders. This dysfunction is highly correlated with mitochondrial dynamics such as fusion and fission. However, there are no strategies to prevent Hcy-induced mitochondrial remodeling. Tetrahydrocurcumin (THC) is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant compound. We hypothesized that THC may ameliorates Hcy-induced mitochondria remodeling in mouse brain endothelial cells (bEnd3) cells. bEnd3 cells were exposed to Hcy treatment in the presence or absence of THC. Cell viability and autophagic cell death were measured with MTT and MDC staining assay. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was determined using DCFH-DA staining by confocal microscopy. Autophagy flux was assessed using a conventional GFP-microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) dot assay. Interaction of phagophore marker LC-3 with mitochondrial receptor NIX was observed by confocal imaging. Mitochondrial fusion and fission were evaluated by western blot and RT-PCR. Our results demonstrated that Hcy resulted in cell toxicity in a dosedependent manner and supplementation of THC prevented the detrimental effects of Hcy on cell survival. Furthermore, Hcy also upregulated fission marker (DRP-1), fusion marker (Mfn2), and autophagy marker (LC-3). Finally, we observed that Hcy activated mitochondrial specific phagophore marker (LC-3) and co-localized with the mitochondrial receptor NIX, as viewed by confocal microscopy. Pretreatment of bEnd3 with THC (15 μM) ameliorated Hcy-induced oxidative damage, mitochondrial fission/fusion, and mitophagy. Our studies strongly suggest that THC has beneficial effects on mitochondrial remodeling and could be developed as a potential therapeutic agent against hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) induced mitochondrial dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3080-3092
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Curcumin
  • Mitochondria biogenesis
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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