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Cytotechnology. 2012 Jan;64(1):65-73. doi: 10.1007/s10616-011-9392-3. Epub 2011 Oct 15.

H(2)O (2)-induced secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α evokes apoptosis of cardiac myocytes through reactive oxygen species-dependent activation of p38 MAPK.

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Department of Cardiology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, 99 Zi Yang Road, Wuhan, 430060, Hubei, China.


P38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38 MAPK) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) play important roles in oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in cardiac myocytes. However, the regulation and functional role of cross-talk between p38 MAPK and TNF-α pathways have not yet been fully characterized in cardiac myocytes. In this study, we found that inhibition of p38 MAPK with SB-203580 (SB) reduced H(2)O(2)-stimulated secretion of TNF-α, whereas pre-activation of p38 MAPK with sodium arsenite (SA) enhanced H(2)O(2)-stimulated secretion of TNF-α. In addition, pretreatment of cells with TNF-α increased basal and H(2)O(2)-stimulated p38 MAPK and apoptosis of cardiac myocytes, and p38 MAPK-associated apoptosis of cardiac myocytes induced by TNF-α was blocked by inhibition of p38 MAPK with SB. Finally, H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis was attenuated by the inhibitors of p38 MAPK or reactive oxygen species (ROS), whereas it was enhanced by p38 MAPK agonist SA. These results suggest that H(2)O(2)-induced secretion of TNF-α increases apoptosis of cardiac myocytes through ROS-dependent activation of p38 MAPK. This may represent a novel mechanism that TNF-α partly interplays with p38 MAPK pathways during oxidative stress-modulated apoptosis in cardiac myocytes.

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