Mechanisms of Sirtuin-2 (SIRT2) enhancement of mitochondrial function and axon regeneration in control and diabetic adult sensory neurons

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Schartner, Emily
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Rationale and hypothesis: Diabetic sensory neuropathy involves a distal dying-back of nerve fibers. Neuronal mitochondrial function is impaired in diabetes and Sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) is a sensor of redox state that regulates cellular bioenergetics. The role of SIRT2 in regulating the phenotype of adult sensory neurons derived from both control and diabetic rats or wild type and SIRT2 knockout (KO) mice was studied. It was hypothesized that sensory neurons under a hyperglycemic state would have a lowered NAD+/NADH ratio thus deactivating the SIRT2 pathway. It was further hypothesized that the down regulation of SIRT2 would diminish the activity of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction. This defect would contribute to distal dying-back of axons observed in diabetes. Methodology: Type 1 diabetes was induced in rodents by streptozotocin (STZ). Adult sensory neurons derived from control or STZ-diabetic rats or control and SIRT2 knockout (KO) mice were cultured in defined media with varying doses of neurotrophic factors and D-glucose. Protein levels were determined by quantitative Western blotting and neurite outgrowth quantified by immunocytochemistry. Plasmid transfection was initiated for overexpression of SIRT2 constructs and Seahorse XF24 analyzer was utilized to measure mitochondrial function of cultured neurons. Results: Overexpression of SIRT2 elevated total neurite outgrowth in cultures derived from control and STZ-diabetic rats. Cultures derived from SIRT2 KO mice exhibited diminished neurite outgrowth. The AMPK pathway was inhibited under high glucose treatment through activation of the polyol pathway. Pharmacological inhibition of the polyol pathway improved mitochondrial bioenergetics and neurite outgrowth in sensory neurons. Augmented expression of electron transport proteins and increased mitochondrial mass was associated with enhanced bioenergetic function. Conclusion: SIRT2 is a key component driving mitochondrial function and axon regeneration through the activation of AMPK pathway. In diabetes this pathway is suppressed via elevated polyol pathway activity.
SIRT2, Mitochondria, Diabetic Neuropathy, Axon regeneration