Vdac1 Downregulation Causes Mitochondrial Disintegration Leading to Hippocampal Neurodegeneration in Scopolamine-Induced Amnesic Mice.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Brain Research Centre, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, 221005, India. [Email]


Our previous report on hippocampal proteome analysis suggested the involvement of voltage-dependent anion channel (Vdac) 1 in scopolamine-induced amnesia. Further silencing of Vdac1 in young mice reduced the recognition memory. Vdac1 is a porin protein present abundantly on outer mitochondrial membrane. It acts as a transporter of energy metabolites ATP/ADP and Ca2+ ions and helps in communication between mitochondrial matrix and cytosol. As Vdac1-associated energy metabolism may be affected during amnesia, we determined the downstream function of Vdac1 in the present study. The expression of Vdac1 and total ATP level was decreased in the hippocampus of scopolamine-induced amnesic mice. Also, the mitochondrial membrane potential, cristae organization, and morphology were disrupted leading to increased ROS generation and reduced SOD and catalase activity. On the other hand, there was increase in the expression of pro-apoptotic marker proteins (Bax, Bad, Casp 3), leading to rising degenerated neuronal cells in the dentate gyrus and Cornu ammonis 3 and 1 subregions of the hippocampus during amnesia. Further, to check whether Vdac1 downregulation is associated with neurodegeneration, we infused Vdac1 siRNA stereotaxically in the hippocampus of normal young mice. As compared to control, Vdac1 silencing decreased ATP level and mitochondrial membrane potential leading to increase in the number of degenerated neuronal cells in subregions of the hippocampus. Taken together, our study shows that downregulation of Vdac1 causes neurodegeneration through mitochondrial disintegration in the hippocampus of scopolamine-induced amnesic mice.