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Brain Res. 1995 Jul 17;686(1):49-60.

Cell death induced by beta-amyloid 1-40 in MES 23.5 hybrid clone: the role of nitric oxide and NMDA-gated channel activation leading to apoptosis.

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Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The molecular events associated with beta-amyloid-induced neuronal injury remain incompletely characterized. Using a substantia nigra/neuroblastoma hybrid cell line (MES 23.5) synthetic beta-amyloid 1-40 induced a time and dose-dependent apoptotic cell death which was characterized by cell shrinkage and fragmentation of DNA, and was inhibited by aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA), and cycloheximide (CHX). Following beta-amyloid 1-40 treatment, cyclic GMP, an index of NO synthesis, was increased in MES 23.5 cells. The NO scavenger hemoglobin, as well as the NO synthase inhibitors NG-monomethyl-L-arginine acetate (L-NMMA) and L-N5-(1-iminoethyl)ornithine hydrochloride (L-NI0) attenuated such increases. These same inhibitors and scavengers also significantly prevented cytotoxicity. beta-Amyloid also induced an early and transient increase in intracellular calcium as monitored with laser scanning confocal microscopy and Fluo-3 imaging. These induced calcium transients could be significantly blocked by the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor antagonist MK-801. Pretreatment with MK-801 or removal of extracellular Ca2+ also reduced beta-amyloid-induced NO production and neurotoxicity. Furthermore, beta-amyloid neurotoxicity was greatly enhanced in the absence of Mg2+ or in the presence of glutamate or NMDA. These data suggest that beta-amyloid can lead to apoptotic cell death through a NO mediated process possibly triggered by Ca2+ entry through activated NMDA-gated channels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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