Oxidative stress (OS) is a key process in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases, memory disorders, and other pathological processes related to aging. Tibolone (TIB), a synthetic hormone used as a treatment for menopausal symptoms, decreases lipoperoxidation levels, prevents memory impairment and learning disability caused by ozone (O3) exposure. However, it is not clear if TIB could prevent the increase in phosphorylation induced by oxidative stress of the microtubule-associated protein Tau. In this study, the effects of TIB at different times of administration on the phosphorylation of Tau, the activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β), and the inactivation of Akt and phosphatases PP2A and PTEN induced by O3 exposure were assessed in adult male Wistar rats. Rats were divided into 10 groups: Control group (ozone-free air plus vehicle [C]), control + TIB group (ozone-free air plus TIB 1 mg/kg [C + TIB]); 7, 15, 30, and 60 days of ozone exposure groups [O3] and 7, 15, 30, and 60 days of TIB 1 mg/kg before ozone exposure groups [O3 + TIB]. The effects of O3 exposure and TIB administration were assessed by western blot analysis of total and phosphorylated Tau, GSK3β, Akt, PP2A, and PTEN proteins and oxidative stress marker nitrotyrosine, and superoxide dismutase activity and lipid peroxidation of malondialdehyde by two different spectrophotometric methods (Marklund and TBARS, respectively). We observed that O3 exposure increases Tau phosphorylation, which is correlated with decreased PP2A and PTEN protein levels, diminished Akt protein levels, and increased GSK3β protein levels in the hippocampus of adult male rats. The effects of O3 exposure were prevented by the long-term treatment (over 15 days) with TIB. Malondialdehyde and nitrotyrosine levels increased from 15 to 60 days of exposure to O3 in comparison to C group, and superoxide dismutase activity decreased. Furthermore, TIB administration limited the changes induced by O3 exposure. Our results suggest a beneficial use of hormone replacement therapy with TIB to prevent neurodegeneration caused by O3 exposure in rats.
- Oxidative stress
- Ozone exposure