We examined neurotoxicity of GT1b against dopaminergic neurons in vitro. Cultures of mesencephalic cells deprived of serum underwent the loss of 19% of tyrosine hydroxylase immunopositive (TH-ip) neurons. In cultures deprived of serum, treatment with 10-30μg/ml GT1b attenuated the number of TH-ip neurons by 26-69%, respectively, compared to non-treated cultures. Intriguingly, cultures deprived of serum were more vulnerable to GT1b-induced neurotoxicity. Application of 60μg/ml GT1b to cultures grown in serum containing media resulted in the loss of 26% of TH-ip neurons, similar to that (28%) observed in serum-deprived cultures treated with 10μ/ml GT1b. Moreover, in our cultures, absence of nitric oxide (NO) production after GT1b treatment was obvious. The present results strongly suggest direct neurotoxic actions of GT1b against dopaminergic neurons regardless of NO.
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