The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a type of organelle in eukaryotic cells that forms an interconnected network of flattened, membrane-enclosed sacs or tube-like structures known as cisternae. The membranes of the ER are continuous with the outer nuclear membrane. The endoplasmic reticulum occurs in most types of eukaryotic cells, including Giardia, but is absent from red blood cells and spermatozoa. There are two types of endoplasmic reticulum: rough and smooth. The outer (cytosolic) face of the rough endoplasmic reticulum is studded with ribosomes that are the sites of protein synthesis. The rough endoplasmic reticulum is especially prominent in cells such as hepatocytes. The smooth endoplasmic reticulum lacks ribosomes and functions in lipid manufacture and metabolism, the production of steroid hormones, and detoxification.
The smooth ER is especially abundant in mammalian liver and gonad cells. The lacy membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum were first seen in 1945 using electron microscopy.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria are two important organelles in cells. Mitochondria-associated membranes (MAMs) are lipid raft-like domains formed in the ER membranes that are in close apposition to mitochondria. They play an important role in signal transmission between these two essential organelles. When cells are exposed to internal or external stressful stimuli, the ER will activate an adaptive response called the ER stress response, which has a significant effect on mitochondrial function. Mitochondrial quality control is an important mechanism to ensure the functional integrity of mitochondria and the effect of ER stress on mitochondrial quality control through MAMs is of great significance 1).
Spinal cord injury induces the disruption of blood-spinal cord barrier and triggers a complex array of tissue responses, including endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and autophagy. However, the roles of ER stress and autophagy in blood-spinal cord barrier disruption have not been discussed in acute spinal cord trauma. In the present study, we respectively detected the roles of ER stress and autophagy in blood-spinal cord barrier disruption after spinal cord injury. Besides, we also detected the cross-talking between autophagy and ER stress both in vivo and in vitro. ER stress inhibitor, 4-phenylbutyric acid, and autophagy inhibitor, chloroquine, were respectively or combinedly administrated in the model of acute spinal cord injury rats. At day 1 after spinal cord injury, blood-spinal cord barrier was disrupted and activation of ER stress and autophagy were involved in the rat model of trauma. Inhibition of ER stress by treating with 4-phenylbutyric acid decreased blood-spinal cord barrier permeability, prevented the loss of tight junction (TJ) proteins and reduced autophagy activation after spinal cord injury. On the contrary, inhibition of autophagy by treating with chloroquine exacerbated blood-spinal cord barrier permeability, promoted the loss of TJ proteins and enhanced ER stress after spinal cord injury. When 4-phenylbutyric acid and chloroquine were combinedly administrated in spinal cord injury rats, chloroquine abolished the blood-spinal cord barrier protective effect of 4-phenylbutyric acid by exacerbating ER stress after spinal cord injury, indicating that the cross-talking between autophagy and ER stress may play a central role on blood-spinal cord barrier integrity in acute spinal cord injury. The present study illustrates that ER stress induced by spinal cord injury plays a detrimental role on blood-spinal cord barrier integrity, on the contrary, autophagy induced by spinal cord injury plays a furthersome role in blood-spinal cord barrier integrity in acute spinal cord injury 2)
The endoplasmic reticulum-lysosome-Golgi network plays an important role in Reelin glycosylation and its proteolytic processing. Golgi complex fragmentation is associated with the separation of Reelin from this network. Kainic acid (KA) is an excitotoxic agent commonly used to induce epilepsy in rodents. The relationship between KA-induced neuronal damage and Golgi complex fragmentation has not been investigated, leaving a major gap in our understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying the development of pathophysiology in epilepsy. We cultured primary rat cortical neurons eitherin ambient condition (control) or treated with a range of KA doses to reveal whether Golgi complex fragmentation impaired neuronal function. The half-life maximal inhibitory concentration (IC 50) value of KA was detected to be approximately 5 μM, whereby at these concentrations, KA impaired neuronal viability, which was closely associated with initial Golgi complex fragmentation and subsequent reduction in both the expression and glycosylation patterns of Reelin. These findings implicate that Golgi complex fragmentation and Reelin dysfunction are key contributors to neuronal cell death in the early stage of epilepsy pathophysiology, thereby representing as novel disease biomarkers, as well as potent therapeutic targets for epilepsy 3).