Neuroprotective effects of Alda-1 mitigate spinal cord injury in mice: involvement of Alda-1-induced ALDH2 activation-mediated suppression of reactive aldehyde mechanisms.
Khan M, Qiao F, Kumar P, Touhidul Islam SM, Singh AK, Won J, Singh I.
Neural regeneration research. 2022; 17(1): 185-193

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is associated with high production and excessive accumulation of pathological 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal (4-HNE), a reactive aldehyde, formed by SCI-induced metabolic dysregulation of membrane lipids. Reactive aldehyde load causes redox alteration, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration, pain-like behaviors, and locomotion deficits. Pharmacological scavenging of reactive aldehydes results in limited improved motor and sensory functions. In this study, we targeted the activity of mitochondrial enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) to detoxify 4-HNE for accelerated functional recovery and improved pain-like behavior in a male mouse model of contusion SCI. N-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-ylmethyl)-2,6-dichlorobenzamide (Alda-1), a selective activator of ALDH2, was used as a therapeutic tool to suppress the 4-HNE load. SCI was induced by an impactor at the T9-10 vertebral level. Injured animals were initially treated with Alda-1 at 2 hours after injury, followed by once-daily treatment with Alda-1 for 30 consecutive days. Locomotor function was evaluated by the Basso Mouse Scale, and pain-like behaviors were assessed by mechanical allodynia and thermal algesia. ALDH2 activity was measured by enzymatic assay. 4-HNE protein adducts and enzyme/protein expression levels were determined by western blot analysis and histology/immunohistochemistry. SCI resulted in a sustained and prolonged overload of 4-HNE, which parallels with the decreased activity of ALDH2 and low functional recovery. Alda-1 treatment of SCI decreased 4-HNE load and enhanced the activity of ALDH2 in both the acute and the chronic phases of SCI. Furthermore, the treatment with Alda-1 reduced neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and neuronal loss and increased adenosine 5'-triphosphate levels stimulated the neurorepair process and improved locomotor and sensory functions. Conclusively, the results provide evidence that enhancing the ALDH2 activity by Alda-1 treatment of SCI mice suppresses the 4-HNE load that attenuates neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, promotes the neurorepair process, and improves functional outcomes. Consequently, we suggest that Alda-1 may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of human SCI. Animal procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of MUSC (IACUC-2019-00864) on December 21, 2019.



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