Allopregnanolone attenuates N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced excitotoxicity and apoptosis in the human NT2 cell line in culture.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Progesterone modulates gamma-aminobutyric acid and excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter systems and has neuroprotective properties in models of hypoxia-ischemia. This study examined the in vitro effects of allopregnanolone, the active progesterone metabolite, in models of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-induced necrosis and apoptosis. Cultured NT2 neurons were exposed to 1 mM NMDA. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release was measured 24 h later. NMDA at a concentration of 1 mM produced a 39 +/- 19% release of total LDH. Exposure to 10 microM allopregnanolone prior to NMDA exposure reduced LDH release by 51% (P = 0.0028). NMDA stimulated apoptotic cell changes defined by terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) and 5,5', 6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1,3,3'-tetra ethlybenzimidazolycarbocyanide iodide staining were reduced to baseline values by both 10 microM allopregnanolone and 100 microM MK-801. Pretreatment with allopregnanolone (0-10 microM) reduced the percentage of TUNEL-positive cells in a dose-dependent manner (EC(50) = 2.7 +/- 0.1 nM). Physiologic concentrations of allopregnanolone provided protection against both necrotic and apoptotic injury induced by NMDA excitotoxicity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lockhart, EM; Warner, DS; Pearlstein, RD; Penning, DH; Mehrabani, S; Boustany, R-M

Published Date

  • August 2, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 328 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 33 - 36

PubMed ID

  • 12123853

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-3940

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0304-3940(02)00448-2


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland