Modeling the developmental neurotoxicity of nicotine in vitro: cell acquisition, growth and viability in PC12 cells.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Although nicotine is a developmental neurotoxicant, it also can exert neuroprotective effects. In the current study, we used PC12 cells to determine the developmental phases in which these disparate actions are expressed and to compare the concentrations required for each. In undifferentiated cells, 1 or 10 microM nicotine had little or no effect on cell number (assessed by measuring DNA) but exerted positive trophic actions, characterized by transient enhancement of cell growth (increased total protein/DNA ratio) and persistent enhancement of cell viability (decreased proportions of cells stained with trypan blue). When differentiation was initiated with nerve growth factor, nicotine elicited a different spectrum of actions, with decreases in cell number, impaired neuritic outgrowth (reduced ratio of membrane/total protein) and weakened viability. In either undifferentiated or differentiating cells, nicotine increased lipid peroxidation (determined as thiobarbituric acid reactive species), providing evidence for oxidative damage. Our results indicate that nicotine exerts positive trophic effects primarily on undifferentiated cells, whereas with differentiation the effects undergo a transition to neurotoxicity. These findings support the view that the neurodevelopmental actions of nicotine depend not only upon the magnitude and duration of the exposure, but most importantly on the developmental stage (e.g., differentiation state) in which exposure occurs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abreu-Villaça, Y; Seidler, FJ; Qiao, D; Slotkin, TA

Published Date

  • February 8, 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 154 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 239 - 246

PubMed ID

  • 15707677

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0165-3806

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.devbrainres.2004.10.018


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands