Partial Protection of PC12 Cells from Cellular Stress by Low-Dose Sodium Nitroprusside Pre-treatment

Judit Varga, Judit Bátor, Gergő Nádasdi, Zita Árvai, Renáta Schipp, József Szeberényi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cell line is an in vitro model system widely used for the investigation of intracellular signaling events contributing to neuronal differentiation and cell death. We found earlier that the nitric oxide donor compound sodium nitroprusside (SNP) induced apoptosis of PC12 cells if it was applied in high concentration (400 µM). Yoshioka et al. (J Pharmacol Sci 101:126–134, 2006) reported that cell death evoked by cytotoxic concentrations of SNP could be prevented by a 100 µM SNP pre-treatment in a murine macrophage cell line. The apoptosis caused by toxic-dose SNP treatment (400 µM) could be partially overcome in PC12 cells as well by the low-dose SNP pre-treatment. The partial inhibition of apoptosis was accompanied by reduced phosphorylation of certain proteins (such as stress-activated protein kinases, the p53, and the eIF2α proteins), decreased caspase activation, and less intense internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. The 100 µM SNP pre-treatment reduced the pro-apoptotic potential of certain other stress stimuli (serum withdrawal, cisplatin and tunicamycin treatments) as well, although the underlying biochemical changes were not entirely uniform. On the contrary, the 100 µM SNP pre-treatment was unable to prevent cell death caused by the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin. Further clarification of the above-mentioned processes may be important in understanding the mechanisms by which mild nitrosative stress protects cells against certain forms of cellular stress conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1168
Number of pages8
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Apoptosis
  • Cellular stress
  • Nitric oxide
  • PC12 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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