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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 749061, 8 pages
Research Article

Behavioral Impact of the Regulation of the Brain 2-Oxoglutarate Dehydrogenase Complex by Synthetic Phosphonate Analog of 2-Oxoglutarate: Implications into the Role of the Complex in Neurodegenerative Diseases

1Departments of Biophysics, Biology Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119992, Russia
2Departments of Physiology, Biology Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119992, Russia
3Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119992, Russia

Received 15 May 2010; Revised 5 July 2010; Accepted 30 September 2010

Academic Editor: Gemma Casadesus

Copyright © 2010 L. Trofimova et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Decreased activity of the mitochondrial 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (OGDHC) in brain accompanies neurodegenerative diseases. To reveal molecular mechanisms of this association, we treated rats with a specific inhibitor of OGDHC, succinyl phosphonate, or exposed them to hypoxic stress. In males treated with succinyl phosphonate and in pregnancy-sensitized females experiencing acute hypobaric hypoxia, we revealed upregulation of brain OGDHC (within 24 hours), with the activity increase presumably representing the compensatory response of brain to the OGDHC inhibition. This up-regulation of brain OGDHC was accompanied by an increase in exploratory activity and a decrease in anxiety of the experimental animals. Remarkably, the hypoxia-induced elevation of brain OGDHC and most of the associated behavioral changes were abrogated by succinyl phosphonate. The antagonistic action of hypoxia and succinyl phosphonate demonstrates potential therapeutic significance of the OGDHC regulation by the phosphonate analogs of 2-oxoglutarate.