Methylene blue induced O2 consumption is not dependent on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation: Implications for salvage pathways during acute mitochondrial poisoning

F. Bouillaud, C. Ransy, M. Moreau, J. Benhaim, A. Lombès, P. Haouzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

While administration of the cyclic redox agent methylene blue (MB) during intoxication by mitochondrial poisons (cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, rotenone) increases survival, the mechanisms behind these antidotal properties remain poorly understood. The objective of the studies presented in this paper was to characterize the interactions between the redox properties of MB, the intermediate metabolism and the mitochondrial respiration. We first show that intra-venous administration of micromolar levels of methylene blue in sedated and mechanically ventilated rats, increases not only resting oxygen consumption but also CO2 production (by ~ 50%), with no change in their ratio. This hypermetabolic state could be reproduced in a cellular model, where we found that the rate of electron transfer to MB was of the same order of magnitude as that of normal cellular metabolism. Notably, the large increase in cellular oxygen consumption caused by MB was relatively indifferent to the status of the mitochondrial respiratory chain: oxygen consumption persisted even when the respiratory chain was inhibited or absent (using inhibitors and cells deficient in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation); yet MB did not impede mitochondrial ATP production in control conditions. We present evidence that after being reduced into leuco-methylene blue (LMB) in presence of reducing molecules that are physiologically found in cells (such as NADH), the re-oxidation of LMB by oxygen can account for the increased oxygen consumption observed in vivo. In conditions of acute mitochondrial dysfunction, these MB redox cycling properties allow the rescue of the glycolysis activity and Krebs cycle through an alternate route of oxidation of NADH (or other potential reduced molecules), which accumulation would have otherwise exerted negative feedback on these metabolic pathways. Our most intriguing finding is that re-oxidization of MB by oxygen ultimately results in an in vivo matching between the increase in the rate of O2 consumed, by MB re-oxidation, and the rate of CO2, produced by the intermediate metabolism, imitating the fundamental coupling between the glycolysis/Krebs cycle and the mitochondrial respiration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103939
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Volume304
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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