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J Neurochem. 2007 Mar;100(6):1688-702.

Hypoxia-like transcriptional activation in TMT-induced degeneration: microarray expression analysis on PC12 cells.

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  • 1Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.


To more clearly elucidate the complete network of molecular mechanisms induced by trimethyltin (TMT) toxicity, we used a homogeneous cell culture model represented by PC12 cells treated with 1 and 5 micromol/L TMT for 24 h. The gene expression profile was performed by microarray analysis, enabling us to identify 189 genes that were significantly modulated in treated cells, compared with controls. The main effects of TMT on gene expression seem to be related to the activation of metabolic processes (glycolysis and lipogenesis) along with cell death pathways, membrane remodeling and intracellular biomolecules trafficking. These alterations are triggered by the neurotoxicant earlier than a strong decrease in cell viability, which occurs at higher TMT concentrations or at later time points. Some aspects of the transcriptional modulation observed in this study resemble the gene activation known to occur during cell response to hypoxia. Other cell toxicants have also been reported to exert similar effects on gene expression. Therefore, our data help to delineate general basic adaptive mechanisms possibly shared by cells responding to different death-inducing noxae, such as TMT.

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