The nephrotoxicity of trichloroethylene and dichloroacetylene has previously been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction induced by the metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine (DCVC). In this study, we examined whether key biochemical steps associated with mitochondria occur in DCVC-induced apoptosis in cultured porcine proximal tubular LLC-PK1 cells. DCVC caused a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential (mtΔΨ) beginning at 4 h and a release of cytochrome c into the cytoplasm at 6 h. Caspase-3-like activity was detected at 6 h and extensive DNA fragmentation was observed at 8 h. Decreases in cellular ATP were not evident until 8 h and later, even though electron microscopy showed that the mitochondria were extensively swollen. Aminooxyacetic acid (AOAA), an inhibitor of cysteine-conjugate β-lyase, protected against mitochondrial changes and apoptosis. Overexpression of the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 protein desensitized LLC-PK1 cells to DCVC-induced apoptosis. These results support the interpretation that mitochondrial release of cyt c and cyt c-dependent activation of caspase-3 could have a central role in nephrotoxicity due to haloalkene-derived cysteine S-conjugates.
- Membrane potential
ASJC Scopus subject areas