The nerve growth factor protein (NGF) regulates neuronal cell death during the development of embryonic sensory and sympathetic neurons in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). NGF protects the rat pheochromocytoma line PC12, a useful model of NGF responsive peripheral neurons, from hydrogen peroxide, which interacts with ferrous iron to generate hydroxyl radicals. Exogenous catalase provides protection, whereas superoxide dismutase (SOD) has no effect on neuronal survival when PC12 cells are challenged with hydrogen peroxide. NGF treatment of PC12 cells increases the activity of catalase. NGF protection from hydrogen peroxide is partially abolished by aminotriazole (Az), a low molecular weight catalase inhibitor. Taken together, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that NGF protects from peroxidative events and consequent cell death via an induction of free radical detoxifying mechanisms, such as catalase activity.
- cell death
- free radicals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience