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

Critical temporal modulation of neuronal programmed cell injury.

1. As a free radical, nitric oxide (NO) may be toxic to neurons through mechanisms that directly involve DNA damage. Lubeluzole, a novel benzothiazole compound, has recently been demonstrated to be neuroprotective through the signal transduction pathways of NO. We therefore examined whether neuroprotection by lubeluzole was dependent upon the molecular pathways of programmed cell death (PCD). 2. In primary hippocampal neurons, evidence of PCD was determined by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain, transmission electron microscopy, and annexin-V binding. NO administration with the NO generators sodium nitroprusside (300 microM) or SIN-1 (300 microM) directly induced PCD. 3. Neurons positive for PCD increased from 22+/-3% (untreated) to 72+/-3% (NO) over a 24-hr period. Coadministration of NO and lubeluzole (750 nM), a neuroprotective concentration, actively decreased PCD expression on H&E stain from 72+/-3% (NO only) to 25+/-3% (NO and lubeluzole). Significant reduction in DNA fragmentation by lubeluzole also was evident on electron microscopy. Application of lubeluzole in concentrations that were not neuroprotective or administration of the biologically inactive R-isomer did not significantly alter NO-induced PCD, suggesting that neuroprotection by lubeluzole was intimately linked to the modulation of PCD. Lubeluzole also was able to prevent the initial stages of cellular membrane inversion labeled with annexin-V binding, an early and sensitive indicator of PCD. Interestingly, the critical period for lubeluzole to reverse PCD induction appeared to be within the first 4 hr following NO exposure. 4. Further investigation into the neuroprotective pathways that alter PCD may provide greater insight into the molecular mechanisms that ultimately determine neuronal injury.[1]


  1. Critical temporal modulation of neuronal programmed cell injury. Maiese, K., Vincent, A.M. Cell. Mol. Neurobiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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