Reactive oxygen species regulated mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in PC12 cells exposed to chlorpyrifos.Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012 Sep 01; 263(2):148-62.TA
Reactive oxidative species (ROS) generated by environmental toxicants including pesticides could be one of the factors underlying the neuronal cell damage in neurodegenerative diseases. In this study we found that chlorpyrifos (CPF) induced apoptosis in dopaminergic neuronal components of PC12 cells as demonstrated by the activation of caspases and nuclear condensation. Furthermore, CPF also reduced the tyrosine hydroxylase-positive immunoreactivity in substantia nigra of the rat. In addition, CPF induced inhibition of mitochondrial complex I activity. Importantly, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) treatment effectively blocked apoptosis via the caspase-9 and caspase-3 pathways while NAC attenuated the inhibition of mitochondrial complex I activity as well as the oxidative metabolism of dopamine (DA). These results demonstrated that CPF-induced apoptosis was involved in mitochondrial dysfunction through the production of ROS. In the response of cellular antioxidant systems to CPF, we found that CPF treatment increased HO-1 expression while the expression of CuZnSOD and MnSOD was reduced. In addition, we found that CPF treatment activated MAPK pathways, including ERK 1/2, the JNK, and the p38 MAP kinase in a time-dependent manner. NAC treatment abolished MAPK phosphorylation caused by CPF, indicating that ROS are upstream signals of MAPK. Interestingly, MAPK inhibitors abolished cytotoxicity and reduced ROS generation by CPF treatment. Our results demonstrate that CPF induced neuronal cell death in part through MAPK activation via ROS generation, suggesting its potential to generate oxidative stress via mitochondrial damage and its involvement in oxidative stress-related neurodegenerative disease.