Glutathione depletion exacerbates impairment by oxidative stress of phosphoinositide hydrolysis, AP-1, and NF-κB activation by cholinergic stimulation

Xiaohua Li, Ling Song, Richard S. Jope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress appears to contribute to neuronal dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease and other CNS neurodegenerative disorders. This investigation examined if oxidative stress might contribute to impairments in cholinergic receptor-linked signaling systems and if intracellular glutathione levels modulated responses to oxidative stress. To do this the activation of the AP-1 and NF-κB transcription factors and of the phosphoinositide second-messenger system was measured in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells after exposure to the oxidants H2O2 or diamide, with or without prior depletion of cellular glutathione. H2O2 concentration-dependently inhibited carbachol-stimulated AP-1 activation and this inhibition was potentiated in glutathione-depleted cells. Carbachol-stimulated NF-κB activation was unaffected by H2O2 unless glutathione was depleted, in which case there was a H2O2 concentration-dependent inhibition. Glutathione depletion also potentiated the inhibition by H2O2 of carbachol- or G-protein (NaF)-stimulated phosphoinositide hydrolysis, whereas phospholipase C activated by the calcium ionophore ionomycin was not inhibited. The thiol-oxidizing agent diamide also inhibited phosphoinositide hydrolysis stimulated by carbachol or NaF, and glutathione depletion potentiated the diamide concentration-dependent inhibition. Unlike H2O2, diamide also inhibited ionomycin-stimulated phosphoinositide hydrolysis. Activation of both AP-1 and NF-κB stimulated by carbachol was inhibited by diamide, and glutathione depletion potentiated the inhibitory effects of diamide. Thus, diamide inhibited a wider range of signaling processes than did H2O2, but glutathione depletion increased the susceptibility of phosphoinositide hydrolysis and of transcription factor activation to inhibition by both H2O2 and diamide. These results demonstrate that the vulnerability of signaling systems to oxidative stress is influenced by intracellular glutathione levels, indicating that cell-selective susceptibility to inhibition of signal transduction systems by oxidative stress can arise from cellular variations in antioxidant capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-205
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • AP-1
  • Diamide
  • Glutathione
  • NFκB
  • Oxidative stress
  • Phosphoinositide hydrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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