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J Neurochem. 1998 Sep;71(3):1068-74.

Inhibition of neuronal apoptosis by a metalloporphyrin superoxide dismutase mimic.

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Department of Medicine, National Jewish Medical and Research Center and University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80206, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine whether free radicals play a pathogenic role in neuronal apoptosis. The ability of Mn(III) tetrakis(benzoic acid) porphyrin (MnTBAP), a superoxide dismutase mimic, to inhibit staurosporine-induced neuronal apoptosis was tested in mixed cerebrocortical cultures. Staurosporine produced concentration-dependent cell death that was markedly inhibited by MnTBAP. Immunocytochemical analyses of cultures for neuron- and astrocyte-specific markers revealed that high concentrations of staurosporine induced the death of both neurons and astrocytes; both cell types were protected by MnTBAP. A less active congener of MnTBAP failed to protect cells against staurosporine-induced apoptosis. MnTBAP also protected cortical cultures against ceramide-induced apoptosis. These results support a role for oxidative stress in neuronal apoptosis.

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