Chronic exposure to n-hexane, a widely used organic solvent in industry, induces central-peripheral neuropathy, which is mediated by its active metabolite, 2,5-hexanedione (HD). We recently reported that transplantation of bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC) significantly ameliorated HD-induced neuronal damage and motor deficits in rats. However, the mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we reported that inhibition of HD-induced autophagy contributed to BMSC-afforded protection. BMSC transplantation significantly reduced the levels of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3-II (LC3-II) and the degradation of sequestosome-1 (p62) in the spinal cord and sciatic nerve of HD-intoxicated rats. Downregulation of autophagy by BMSC was also confirmed in VSC4.1 cells exposed to HD. Moreover, inhibition of autophagy by PIK III mitigated the neurotoxic effects of HD and, meanwhile, abolished BMSC-afforded neuroprotection. Furthermore, we found that BMSC failed to interfere with Beclin 1, but promoted activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Unc-like kinse 1 (ULK1) was further recognized as the downstream target of mTOR responsible for BMSC-mediated inhibition of autophagy. Altogether, BMSC transplantation potently ameliorated HD-induced autophagy through beclin 1-independent activation of mTOR pathway, providing a novel insight for the therapeutic effects of BMSC against n-hexane and other environmental toxicants-induced neurotoxicity.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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