Background and purpose: An isothiourea derivative (2-[2-[4-(4-nitrobenzyloxy)phenyl]ethyl]isothiourea methane sulfonate (KB-R7943), a widely used inhibitor of the reverse Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX(rev)), was instrumental in establishing the role of NCX(rev) in glutamate-induced Ca(2+) deregulation in neurons. Here, the effects of KB-R7943 on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and mitochondrial complex I were tested.
Experimental approach: Fluorescence microscopy, electrophysiological patch-clamp techniques and cellular respirometry with Seahorse XF24 analyzer were used with cultured hippocampal neurons; membrane potential imaging, respirometry and Ca(2+) flux measurements were made in isolated rat brain mitochondria. KEY RESULTS KB-R7943 inhibited NCX(rev) with IC(50) = 5.7 ± 2.1 µM, blocked NMDAR-mediated ion currents, and inhibited NMDA-induced increase in cytosolic Ca(2+) with IC(50) = 13.4 ± 3.6 µM but accelerated calcium deregulation and mitochondrial depolarization in glutamate-treated neurons. KB-R7943 depolarized mitochondria in a Ca(2+) -independent manner. Stimulation of NMDA receptors caused NAD(P)H oxidation that was coupled or uncoupled from ATP synthesis depending on the presence of Ca(2+) in the bath solution. KB-R7943, or rotenone, increased NAD(P)H autofluorescence under resting conditions and suppressed NAD(P)H oxidation following glutamate application. KB-R7943 inhibited 2,4-dinitrophenol-stimulated respiration of cultured neurons with IC(50) = 11.4 ± 2.4 µM. With isolated brain mitochondria, KB-R7943 inhibited respiration, depolarized organelles and suppressed Ca(2+) uptake when mitochondria oxidized complex I substrates but was ineffective when mitochondria were supplied with succinate, a complex II substrate.
Conclusions and implications: KB-R7943, in addition to NCX(rev) , blocked NMDA receptors in cultured hippocampal neurons and inhibited complex I in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. These findings are critical for the correct interpretation of experimental results obtained with KB-R7943 and a better understanding of its neuroprotective action.
© 2010 The Authors. British Journal of Pharmacology © 2010 The British Pharmacological Society.