Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Dec 18;98(26):15294-9. Epub 2001 Dec 11.

Different responses of astrocytes and neurons to nitric oxide: the role of glycolytically generated ATP in astrocyte protection.

Author information

Departamento de Bioquimica y Biologia Molecular and Departamento de Medicina, Universidad de Salamanca, and Unidad de Investigación, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain.


It was recently proposed that in Jurkat cells, after inhibition of respiration by NO, glycolytically generated ATP plays a critical role in preventing the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential (Deltapsi(m)) and thus apoptotic cell death. We have investigated this observation further in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons and astrocytes-cell types that differ greatly in their glycolytic capacity. Continuous and significant ( approximately 85%) inhibition of respiration by NO (1.4 microM at 175 microM O(2)) generated by [(z)-1-[2-aminoethyl]-N-[2-ammonioethyl]amino]diazen-1-ium-1,2 diolate (DETA-NO) initially (10 min) depleted ATP concentrations by approximately 25% in both cell types and increased the rate of glycolysis in astrocytes but not in neurons. Activation of glycolysis in astrocytes, as judged by lactate production, prevented further ATP depletion, whereas in neurons, which do not invoke this mechanism, there was a progressive decrease in ATP concentrations over the next 60 min. During this time, there was a persistent mitochondrial hyperpolarization and absence of apoptotic cell death in astrocytes, whereas in the neurons there was a progressive fall in Deltapsi(m) and increased apoptosis. After glucose deprivation or treatment with inhibitors of the F(1)F(0)-ATPase and adenine nucleotide translocase, astrocytes responded to NO with a fall in Deltapsi(m) and apoptotic cell death similar to the response in neurons. Finally, although treatment of astrocytes with NO partially prevented staurosporin-induced collapse in Deltapsi(m) and cell death, NO and staurosporin synergized in decreasing Deltapsi(m) and inducing apoptosis in neurons. These results demonstrate that although inhibition of cellular respiration by NO leads to neurotoxicity, it may also result in initial neuroprotection, depending on the glycolytic capacity of the particular cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center