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Neurotoxicology. 2003 Jun;24(3):425-34.

Thiram and ziram stimulate non-selective cation channel and induce apoptosis in PC12 cells.

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Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Department of Life Science, SIGMOL Institute of Molecular Medicine, SIGMOL Inc., Pohang University of Science and Technology, 790-784, Pohang, South Korea.


The neurotoxicity of dithiocarbamates has been previously reported, however, the detailed mechanism underlying the neurotoxicity is still not fully understood. Among the dithiocarbamates, we investigated thiram and ziram in a neuronal-like pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. Thiram and ziram strongly induced cell death in both dose- and time-dependent manners with the LC(50) of 0.3 and 2 microM, respectively. The cell death showed typical apoptotic features, such as DNA fragmentation and an increase of subdiploidy nuclei. Interestingly, both thiram and ziram induced rapid and sustained increases of intracellular Ca(2+) in PC12 cells, which were almost completely blocked by flufenamic acid (FFA), an inhibitor of non-selective cation channel. BAPTA-AM, an intracellular Ca(2+) chelator, inhibited the thiram- and ziram-induced apoptotic cell death. These results suggest that thiram and ziram induce apoptotic neuronal cell death by Ca(2+) influx through non-selective cation channels. The present study may provide a clue for understanding the mechanism of neurotoxicity of thiram and ziram.

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