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Selective ion changes during spontaneous mitochondrial transients in intact astrocytes.
The bioenergetic status of cells is tightly regulated by the activity of cytosolic enzymes and mitochondrial ATP production. To adapt their metabolism to cellular energy needs, mitochondria have been shown to exhibit changes in their ionic composition as the result of changes in cytosolic ion concentrations. Individual mitochondria also exhibit spontaneous changes in their electrical potential without altering those of neighboring mitochondria. We recently reported that individual mitochondria of intact astrocytes exhibit spontaneous transient increases in their Na(+) concentration. Here, we investigated whether the concentration of other ionic species were involved during mitochondrial transients. By combining fluorescence imaging methods, we performed a multiparameter study of spontaneous mitochondrial transients in intact resting astrocytes. We show that mitochondria exhibit coincident changes in their Na(+) concentration, electrical potential, matrix pH and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production during a mitochondrial transient without involving detectable changes in their Ca(2+) concentration. Using widefield and total internal reflection fluorescence imaging, we found evidence for localized transient decreases in the free Mg(2+) concentration accompanying mitochondrial Na(+) spikes that could indicate an associated local and transient enrichment in the ATP concentration. Therefore, we propose a sequential model for mitochondrial transients involving a localized ATP microdomain that triggers a Na(+)-mediated mitochondrial depolarization, transiently enhancing the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Our work provides a model describing ionic changes that could support a bidirectional cytosol-to-mitochondria ionic communication.
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