Protective effect of a synthetic anti-oxidant on neuronal cell apoptosis resulting from experimental hypoxia re-oxygenation injury

Ben S. Rayner, Thi Thuy Hong Duong, Simon J. Myers, Paul K. Witting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Oxidative stress is associated with the pathology of acute and chronic neurodegenerative disease. Cultured neuronal cells exposed to hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) injury, as a model for stroke, yield a burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as measured with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in combination with spin trapping. Added superoxide dismutase inhibited spin-adduct formation verifying that superoxide radical anion was formed in neuronal cells following H/R injury. The intracellular ADP/ATP ratio increased rapidly over the first 5 h following injury and this was q2due primarily to the decreased cellular pools of ATP, consistent with the notion that H/R promotes mitochondrial dysfunction leading to decreased ATP reserve and increased ROS formation. As an early response to the enhanced oxidative stress, genes encoding for hypoxia-inducible factor 1-α (HIF1-α), inducible haemoxygenase-1 (HO-1), and the oxygen-sensor neuroglobin increased significantly. Up-regulation of the HO-1 gene was paralleled by increased HO protein expression and activity. Despite this cellular response, apoptosis increased significantly following H/R injury indicating that the endogenous anti-oxidant defenses were unable to protect the cells. In contrast, addition of a phenolic anti-oxidant, bisphenol (BP), prior to H/R injury, inhibited ROS production and gene regulation and significantly decreased neuronal cell apoptosis. Added BP was converted stoichiometrically to the corresponding diphenoquinone indicating the synthetic anti-oxidant effectively decreased oxidative stress through a radical scavenging mechanism. Together, these data indicate that BP has the potential to act as a neuro-protective drug.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-221
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • apoptosis
  • gene regulation
  • hypoxia-reoxygenation
  • oxidative stress
  • stroke


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