Send to

Choose Destination
Free Radic Res. 2001 Jul;35(1):1-10.

Gliotoxin induces apoptosis in cultured macrophages via production of reactive oxygen species and cytochrome c release without mitochondrial depolarization.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.


The cytotoxicity and its underlying mechanisms induced by gliotoxin (GT), an immunosuppressive agent, in macrophages are poorly understood. We report here that GT induced a rapid apoptosis (DNA fragmentation and hypodiploid nuclei obtained within 4 hrs of treatment) in murine macrophages PU5-1.8 in a dose-dependent and cell cycle-independent manner. The GT-induced apoptosis was suppressed by z-Asp, z-VAD-fmk and antioxidants suggesting that production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of caspases were important in this process. Also, release of cytochrome c from mitochondria was found to be an early event (within 1 hr) after addition of GT (250 ng/ml) and its presence in the cytosol was sufficient to elicit apoptosis. Interestingly, the release of cytochrome c was not accompanied by a reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential (psi m) as determined by several psi m-sensitive fluorescent indicators. Taken together, our results indicate that GT is a potent apoptotic agent in PU5-1.8 cells and the loss of psi m is not a universal early marker for apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center