Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Neurochem. 1995 Nov;65(5):2016-21.

NMDA receptor activation produces concurrent generation of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species: implication for cell death.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1334, USA.


The ability of glutamate to stimulate generation of intracellular oxidant species was determined by microfluorescence in cerebellar granule cells loaded with the oxidant-sensitive fluorescent dye 2,7-dichlorofluorescin (DCF). Exposure of cells to glutamate (10 microM) produced a rapid generation of oxidants that was blocked approximately 70% by MK-801 (a noncompetitive NMDA-receptor antagonist). To determine if nitric oxide (NO) or reactive oxygen species (ROS) contributed to the oxidation of DCF, cells were treated with compounds that altered their generation. NO production was inhibited with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) and reduced hemoglobin (NO scavenger). Alternatively, cells were incubated with superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, which selectively metabolize O2-. and H2O2. Concurrent inhibition of O2-. and NO production nearly abolished intracellular oxidant generation. Pretreatment of cells with either chelerythrine (1 microM, protein kinase C inhibitor) or quinacrine (5 microM, phospholipase A2 inhibitor) before addition of glutamate also blocked oxidation of DCF. Generation of oxidants by glutamate was significantly reduced by incubating the cells of Ca(2+)-free buffer. In cytotoxicity studies, a positive correlation was observed between glutamate-induced death and oxidant generation. Glutamate-induced cytotoxicity was blocked by MK-801 and attenuated by treatment with L-NAME, chelerythrine, SOD, or quinacrine. It is concluded that glutamate induces concurrent generation of NO and ROS by activation of both NMDA receptors and non-NMDA receptors through a Ca(2+)-mediated process. Activation of NO synthase and phospholipase A2 contribute significantly to this response. It is proposed that simultaneous generation of NO and ROS results in formation of peroxynitrite, which initiates the cellular damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center