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Cell Death Differ. 2002 Sep;9(9):1007-16.

Early redox imbalance mediates hydroperoxide-induced apoptosis in mitotic competent undifferentiated PC-12 cells.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA.


Our recent study has demonstrated that cellular redox imbalance can directly initiate apoptosis in a mitotic competent PC-12 cell line without the involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, whether cell apoptosis induced by ROS is, in fact, mediated by a loss of redox balance caused by the oxidant is unresolved. The linkage between oxidant-mediated apoptosis and the induction of cellular redox was examined in PC-12 cells using the oxidant, tert-butylhydroperoxide (TBH). TBH caused cell apoptosis in 24 h that was preceded by an early increase (30 min) in oxidized glutathione (GSSG). Pretreatment with N-acetyl cysteine prevented TBH-induced GSSG increases and cell apoptosis. Altered Bax/BcL-2 expression and release of mitochondrial cytochrome c occurred post-redox imbalance and was kinetically linked to caspase-3 activation and poly ADP-ribose polymerase cleavage. Moreover, cell apoptosis was attenuated by inhibition of caspase-9, but not caspase-8, and blockade of mitochondrial ROS generation and permeability transition pore attenuated caspase 3 activation and cell apoptosis. Collectively, these results show that TBH-induced GSSG elevation is associated with the disruption of mitochondrial integrity, activation of caspase-3 and cell apoptosis. This redox induction of the apoptotic cascade was dissociated from cellular GSH efflux.

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