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Int J Mol Med. 2008 Jun;21(6):737-45.

Different sources of reactive oxygen species contribute to low potassium-induced apoptosis in cerebellar granule cells.

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  • 1Istituto di Biomembrane e Bioenergetica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, I-70126 Bari, Italy.


An early increase in ROS production is characteristic of cerebellar granule cells undergoing apoptosis in the presence of 5 mM KCl. However, the sources of this increase have not been investigated in detail. In particular whether there is a single enzymatic source or the increase in ROS production is the consequence of the involvement of different enzymes has not been studied in depth. Different enzymatic pathways may indeed contribute to the up-regulation of intracellular ROS production either directly or via side-chain reactions and a number of candidate enzymes are known to be involved in the apoptotic process in various cell types. The aim of this study was to identify the cellular sources of the ROS generated by CGCs undergoing apoptosis by low K+. A panel of specific inhibitors against phospholipase, cytochromes P450, cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase, xanthine oxidase, ribonucleotide reductase and NADPH oxidase were used. We provide evidence that no single source of ROS can be identified in apoptotic CGCs, but the ROS generated through the arachidonic acid (AA) pathways, mainly via lipoxygenase activities, seems to be the most prominent.

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