The subcellular distribution of alpha-tocopherol in the adult primate brain and its relationship with membrane arachidonic acid and its oxidation products

Emily S. Mohn, Matthew J. Kuchan, John W. Erdman, Martha Neuringer, Nirupa R. Matthan, Chung Yen Oliver Chen, Elizabeth J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The relationship between α-tocopherol, a known antioxidant, and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) oxidation, has not been directly investigated in the primate brain. This study characterized the membrane distribution of α-tocopherol in brain regions and investigated the association between membrane α-tocopherol and PUFA content, as well as brain PUFA oxidation products. Nuclear, myelin, mitochondrial, and neuronal membranes were isolated using a density gradient from the prefrontal cortex (PFC), cerebellum (CER), striatum (ST), and hippocampus (HC) of adult rhesus monkeys (n = 9), fed a stock diet containing vitamin E (α -γ-tocopherol intake: ~0.7 µmol/kg body weight/day, ~5 µmol/kg body weight/day, respectively). α -tocopherol, PUFAs, and PUFA oxidation products were measured using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-GC/MS) respectively. α-Tocopherol (ng/mg protein) was highest in nuclear membranes (p < 0.05) for all regions except HC. In PFC and ST, arachidonic acid (AA, µg/mg protein) had a similar membrane distribution to α-tocopherol. Total α-tocopherol concentrations were inversely associated with AA oxidation products (isoprostanes) (p < 0.05), but not docosahexaenoic acid oxidation products (neuroprostanes). This study reports novel data on α-tocopherol accumulation in primate brain regions and membranes and provides evidence that α-tocopherol and AA are similarly distributed in PFC and ST membranes, which may reflect a protective effect of α-tocopherol against AA oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97
JournalAntioxidants
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Arachidonic acid
  • Brain
  • Isoprostanes
  • Membranes
  • Rhesus monkey
  • α-tocopherol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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