NOX2 mediates apoptotic death induced by staurosporine but not by potassium deprivation in cerebellar granule neurons

Alicia Guemez-Gamboa, Julio Morán*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Neuronal apoptotic death involves the participation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), but their sources have not been completely elucidated. Previous studies have demonstrated that the ROS-producing enzyme NADPH oxidase is present in neuronal cells and that this enzyme could participate in the apoptotic neuronal death. Cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) undergo apoptosis when cells are transferred from a medium with 25 mM KCl (K25) to a 5 mM KCl (K5) medium or when they are treated with staurosporine (ST). Under these conditions, apoptotic death of CGN is dependent on ROS production. In this study, we evaluated the role of NOX2, an NADPH oxidase homolog, in the apoptotic death of CGN induced by two different conditions. In CGN from NOX2-deficient (ko) mice, a significantly lower rate of apoptotic death occurs compared with wild-type (wt) CGN. Also, caspase-3 activation, NADPH oxidase activity, and superoxide anion production induced by ST were markedly lower in ko neurons than in wt CGN. In contrast to the case with ST, when CGN were treated with K5, no differences were observed between ko and wt cells in any of the parameters measured. However, all NADPH oxidase inhibitors tested noticeably reduced cell death and apoptotic parameters induced by K5 in both wt and ko CGN. These results suggest that NOX2 could be necessary for apoptotic death induced by ST, but not by K5, which could require other member of the NOX family in the apoptotic process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2531-2540
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 15 2009


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspases
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Superoxide anion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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