Nitric oxide (NO) regulates numerous physiological process and is the main source of reactive nitrogen species (RNS). NO promotes cell survival, but it also induces apoptotic death having been involved in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases. NO and superoxide anion react to form peroxynitrite, which accounts for most of the deleterious effects of NO. The mechanisms by which these molecules regulate the apoptotic process are not well understood. In this study, we evaluated the role of NO and peroxynitrite in the apoptotic death of cultured cerebellar granule neurons (CGN), which are known to experience apoptosis by staurosporine (St) or potassium deprivation (K5). We found that CGN treated with the peroxynitrite catalyst, FeTTPs were completely rescued from St-induced death, but not from K5-induced death. On the other hand, the inhibition of the inducible nitric oxide synthase partially protected cell viability in CGN treated with K5, but not with St, while the inhibitor L-NAME further reduced the cell viability in St, but it did not affect K5. Finally, an inhibitor of the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) diminished the cell viability in K5, but not in St. Altogether, these results shows that NO promotes cell survival in K5 through sGC-cGMP and promotes cell death by other mechanisms, while in St NO promotes cell survival independently of cGMP and peroxynitrite results critical for St-induced death. Our results suggest that RNS are differentially handled by CGN during cell death depending on the death-inducing conditions.
Última actualización: 19/01/2018