VAS2870 inhibits staurosporine-induced cell death in rat astrocytes
Background. Astrocytes maintain central nerve system homeostasis and are relatively resistant to cell death. Dysfunction of cell death mechanisms may underlie glioblastoma genesis and resistance to cancer therapy; therefore more detailed understanding of astrocytic death modalities is needed in order to design effective therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of VAS2870, a pharmacological inhibitor of NADPH oxidases, on staurosporine-induced cell death in astrocytes.
Materials and methods. Cultured rat astrocytes were treated with staurosporine as activator of cell death. Cell viability, production of ROS, and mitochondrial potential were examined using flow cytometric analysis, while chemiluminescence analysis was performed to assess caspase 3/7 activity and cellular ATP.
Results. We show here for the first time, that VAS2870 is able to prevent staurosporine-induced cell death. Staurosporine exerts its toxic effect through increased generation of ROS, while VAS2870 reduces the level of ROS. Further, VAS2870 partially restores mitochondrial inner membrane potential and level of ATP in staurosporine treated cells.
Conclusions. Staurosporine induces cell death in cultured rat astrocytes through oxidative stress. Generation of ROS, mitochondrial membrane potential and energy level are sensitive to VAS2870, which suggests NADPH oxidases as an important effector of cell death. Consequently, NADPH oxidases activation pathway could be an important target to modulate astrocytic death.