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Glia. 2000 Jun;30(4):329-41.

Evaluation of glutathione-sensitive fluorescent dyes in cortical culture.

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National Research Council of Canada, Institute for Biological Sciences, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


The sensitivity of six fluorophores to glutathione (GSH) was evaluated in living rat cortical neuronal/glial mixed cultures during the first 23 days in vitro (DIV). Four of the dyes require glutathione-S-transferase (GST) to form a fluorescent conjugate, potentially conferring specificity for GSH: these included t-butoxycarbonyl-Leu-Met-7-amino-4-chloromethylcoumarin (CMAC), 7-amino-4-chloromethylcoumarin (CMAC-blue), monochlorobimane (MCB), and 5-chloromethylfluorescein diacetate (CMFDA). The final two dyes examined, 2,3-naphthalenedicarboxaldehyde (NDA) and o-phthaldehyde (OPD), do not require GST for adduct formation with GSH. To examine the specificity of the dyes for GSH, cultures grown less than 6 DIV were pretreated with diethyl maleate or DL-buthionine-(S, R)-sulfoximine to deplete endogenous GSH. This resulted in a substantial loss of staining by CMAC, CMAC-blue, and MCB and partial loss of staining by OPD, indicating specificity for GSH, while staining by CMFDA or NDA was not altered, indicating a lack of specificity for GSH. Neurons experienced a dramatic decline in GSH levels relative to astrocytes between 5-6 DIV, as shown by a loss of neuronal staining with CMAC, CMAC-blue and MCB. This decrease in staining was not due to a decrease in GST activity, as neurons stained with the GST-insensitive OPD also exhibited a decline in GSH-sensitive staining. Immunolabeling experiments demonstrated that CMAC staining co-localized with GFAP-positive astrocytes, but not with MAP-2-positive neurons, in 18 DIV cultures. Finally, CMAC was exploited as a specific morphological marker of astrocytes in cultures aged >5 DIV. CMAC staining was employed to monitor astrocyte proliferation and to resolve astrocytes in living mixed cultures co-loaded with the Ca(2+)-sensitive dye, calcium green 5N-AM. GLIA 30:329-341, 2000. Published 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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