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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential responses of oligodendrocytes to tumor necrosis factor and other pro-apoptotic agents: role of ceramide in apoptosis.

Staurosporine induced apoptosis in a human oligodendroglioma cell line (HOG), neonatal rat oligodendrocyte (O2A(+)) precursors, and mature rat oligodendrocytes. In all three cell culture systems, the activation of caspase-3-like activity ( CPP32) coincided with the increased formation of ceramide from sphingomyelin and the onset of DNA fragmentation. Further, the addition of exogenous C(2)-ceramide induced CPP32 activation and DNA fragmentation in all three culture systems. Raising endogenous ceramide levels by the addition of the ceramidase inhibitor, oleoylethanolamine, enhanced apoptosis in both a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (wortmannin and LY294002) also induced caspase-3 ( CPP32) activation, increased ceramide formation, induced DNA fragmentation, and reduced cell viability. In contrast, cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha ( TNF-alpha) had a differential effect on the three cell cultures. Thus, TNF-alpha (160 ng/ml) induced 70% apoptosis in 24 hr in freshly isolated rat brain O2A(+) precursor cells, 60% apoptosis in 24 hr in a human oligodendroglioma (HOG) cell line, but no apoptosis in mature neonatal rat oligodendrocytes. Interferon-gamma augmented the activation of CPP32 by TNF-alpha in HOG cells and O2A(+) oligodendrocyte precursor cells but had no effect on mature oligodendrocytes. Thus, the death pathway appears to be similar in the three cell lines but the lack of coupling between TNF-alpha receptors and the apoptotic pathway leads to a lack of response to cytokines in mature oligodendrocytes.[1]


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