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Brain Res. 1996 Sep 16;733(2):175-83.

Oxygen-induced apoptosis in PC12 cells with special reference to the role of Bcl-2.

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Division of Protein Biosynthesis, Osaka University, Japan.


We previously reported that PC12h cells are killed by a high oxygen atmosphere. In this study, we further characterized this oxygen-induced cell death and found apoptotic features, as follows. Firstly, chromatin condensation was observed in cells cultured in a 50% O2 atmosphere. Secondly, cycloheximide and cordycepin, protein and RNA synthesis inhibitors, respectively, prevented the oxygen-induced cell death in PC12h cells, suggesting that it is mediated by an intracellular death program. Thirdly, NGF, CPT-cAMP and depolarization by high potassium medium also effectively inhibited this apoptotic cell death in PC12h cells. The effect of high K+ is thought to be mediated by the influx of Ca2+ into cells through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, because nifedipine, an L-type Ca2+ channel blocker, inhibited the effect of high K+. In addition, since the oxygen-induced apoptosis was blocked by the antioxidant vitamin E, this oxygen toxicity is suggested to be mediated by reactive oxygen species. To further characterize this oxygen-induced apoptosis at the molecular level, we used PC12 cells overexpressing the proto-oncogene bcl-2. Although a large number of PC12 cells transfected with the control vector died in a 50% O2 atmosphere within 6 days, bcl-2-transfected PC12 cells survived and proliferated. These findings suggested that our system using PC12 cells will be a useful model with which to analyze the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis induced by oxidative stress in neuronal cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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