Mitochondrial membrane potential and intracellular ATP content after transient experimental ischemia in the cultured hippocampal neuron

Neurochem Int. 2003 Aug;43(3):263-9. doi: 10.1016/s0197-0186(02)00228-0.


Ischemia limits the delivery of oxygen and glucose to cells and disturbs the maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). MMP regulates the production of high-energy phosphate and apoptotic cascading. Thus, MMP is an important parameter determining the fate of neurons. Differences in the time course of MMP according to the grading of the ischemic impact have not been clarified. MMP and intracellular ATP contents were monitored before and after short-term oxygen-glucose deprivation. A primary hippocampal culture seeded in a 35 mm fenestrated dish for fluorescence microscopy was mounted in a sealed chamber for an anaerobic incubation. A continuous flow of 100% nitrogen into the chamber and a replacement of glucose-free medium allowed the condition of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), thereby extrapolating ischemia. MMP was evaluated by the fluorescence of a voltage-dependent dye, JC-1, under fluorescence microscopy. The intracellular ATP content was evaluated in a hippocampal culture seeded in a 96-well plate by the luciferin-luciferase reaction after a designated period of OGD. During OGD, MMP decreased to 0.72+/-0.03 (normalized JC-1 fluorescence), then increased to the hyperpolarized level 1.99+/-0.12 during 60 min reoxygenation after 30 min OGD. MMP after 60 min OGD decreased and recovered occasionally during reoxygenation. After 90 min OGD and reoxygenation, MMP was reduced and never recovered. The intracellular ATP content was 8.1+/-6.6 and 3.2+/-1.9% after 30 min OGD and 30 min reoxygenation following 30 min OGD, respectively; 60 min OGD did not significantly change these levels (7.1+/-5.8, 2.6+/-0.5%). Hyperpolarization after OGD did not accompany ATP production. This observation suggests the inhibition of electron reentry into an inner membrane during reoxygenation and the disturbance of FoF1-ATP synthase. This pathological finding of an energy-producing system after OGD may provide a clue to explain post-ischemic energy failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Oxygen