Mitochondrial ferritin upregulation reduced oxidative stress and blood-brain-barrier disruption by maintaining cellular iron homeostasis in a neonatal rat model of germinal matrix hemorrhage

Exp Neurol. 2024 Jan 26:114703. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2024.114703. Online ahead of print.


Germinal matrix hemorrhage (GMH) is a devasting neurological disease in premature newborns. After GMH, brain iron overload associated with hemoglobin degradation contributed to oxidative stress, causing disruption of the already vulnerable blood-brain barrier (BBB). Mitochondrial ferritin (FTMT), a novel mitochondrial outer membrane protein, is crucial in maintaining cellular iron homeostasis. We aimed to investigate the effect of FTMT upregulation on oxidative stress and BBB disruption associated with brain iron overload in rats. A total of 222 Sprague-Dawley neonatal rat pups (7 days old) were used to establish a collagenase-induced GMH model and an iron-overload model of intracerebral FeCl2 injection. Deferiprone was administered via gastric lavage 1 h after GMH and given daily until euthanasia. FTMT CRISPR Knockout and adenovirus (Ad)-FTMT were administered intracerebroventricularly 48 h before GMH and FeCl2 injection, respectively. Neurobehavioral tests, immunofluorescence, Western blot, Malondialdehyde measurement, and brain water content were performed to evaluate neurobehavior deficits, oxidative stress, and BBB disruption, respectively. The results demonstrated that brain expressions of iron exporter Ferroportin (FPN) and antioxidant glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) as well as BBB tight junction proteins including Claudin-5 and Zona Occulta (ZO)-1 were found to be decreased at 72 h after GMH. FTMT agonist Deferiprone attenuated oxidative stress and preserved BBB tight junction proteins after GMH. These effects were partially reversed by FTMT CRISPR Knockout. Iron overload by FeCl2 injection resulted in oxidative stress and BBB disruption, which were improved by Ad-FTMT mediated FTMT overexpression. Collectively, FTMT upregulation is neuroprotective against brain injury associated with iron overload. Deferiprone reduced oxidative stress and BBB disruption by maintaining cellular iron homeostasis partially by the upregulating of FTMT after GMH. Deferiprone may be an effective treatment for patients with GMH.

PMID:38281588 | DOI:10.1016/j.expneurol.2024.114703