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J Neurochem. 1998 Jan;70(1):316-24.

Production of reactive oxygen species and release of L-glutamate during superoxide anion-induced cell death of cerebellar granule neurons.

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Division of Protein Biosynthesis, Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, Japan.


Enhanced production of superoxide anion (O2-) is considered to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of CNS neurons. Here, we report that O2- generated by xanthine (XA) + xanthine oxidase (XO) triggered cell death associated with nuclear condensation and DNA fragmentation in cerebellar granule neuron. XA + XO induced significant increases in amounts of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) before initiating loss of cell viability, as determined by measurement of 6-carboxy-2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate, di(acetoxymethyl ester) (C-DCDHF-DA) for O2- and other ROS and hydroethidine (HEt) specifically for O2- by using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. Catalase, but not superoxide dismutase (SOD), significantly protected granule neurons from the XA + XO-induced cell death. Catalase effectively reduced C-DCDHF-DA but not HEt fluorescence, whereas SOD reduced HEt but not C-DCDHF-DA fluorescence, indicating that HEt and C-DCDHF-DA fluorescence correlated with O2- and hydrogen peroxide, respectively. The NMDA antagonist MK-801 prevented the death. XA + XO induced an increase in L-glutamate release from cerebellar granule neurons. These results indicate that elevation of O2- induces cell death associated with increasing ROS production in cerebellar granule neurons and that XA + XO enhanced release of L-glutamate.

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