D-Penicillamine Reveals the Amelioration of Seizure-Induced Neuronal Injury via Inhibiting Aqp11-Dependent Ferroptosis
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Repetitive seizures, a common phenomenon in diverse neurologic conditions such as epilepsy, can undoubtedly cause neuronal injury and our prior work reveals that ferroptosis is a contributing factor of neuronal damage post seizure. However, there is no drug available in clinical practice for ameliorating seizure-induced neuronal impairment via targeting ferroptosis. Our present work aimed to explore whether D-penicillamine (DPA), an originally approved drug for treating Wilson’s disease, inhibited neuronal ferroptosis and alleviated seizure-associated brain damage. Our findings revealed that DPA remarkably improved neuronal survival in kainic acid (KA)-treated mouse model. Furthermore, ferroptosis-associated indices including acyl-coA synthetase long chain family member 4 (ACSL4), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (Ptgs2) gene and lipid peroxide (LPO) level were significantly decreased in KA mouse model after DPA treatment. In a ferroptotic cell death model induced by glutamate or erastin, DPA was also validated to evidently suppress neuronal ferroptosis. The results from RNA-seq analysis indicated that Aqp11, a gene coding previously reported channel protein responsible for transporting water and small solutes, was identified as a molecular target by which DPA exerted anti-ferroptotic potential in neurons. The experimental results from in vivo Aqp11 siRNA transfer into the brain also confirmed that knockdown of Aqp11 abrogated the inhibitory effect of seizure-induced ferroptosis after DPA treatment, suggesting that the effects of DPA on ferroptosis process are dependent upon Aqp11. In conclusion, DPA can be repurposed to cure seizure disorders such as epilepsy.
Keywords: Aqp11; D-penicillamine; ferroptosis; neuronal injury; therapy.