Serum withdrawal causes apoptosis in SHSY 5Y cells

Malcolm R. Macleod*, Timothy E. Allsopp, Joyce McLuckie, John S. Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A proportion of differentiated SH-SY5Y cells undergo cell death in response to withdrawal of serum. This death manifests the hallmark features of apoptosis including changes in nuclear morphology, processing and activation of caspase 3 and cleavage of the caspase 3 substrates acetyl-Asp-Glu-Val-Asp-aminomethylcoumarin and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. These findings represent the first demonstration of serum withdrawal induced apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells. The reduction in viability induced by serum deprivation and assessed using an inhibitor of mitochondrial respiration can be partially inhibited by FK506, but FK506 does not prevent caspase 3 processing or cleavage of caspase 3 substrates. FK506 is also able to promote the viability of a small proportion of embryonic mouse sensory neurons following nerve growth factor-withdrawal induced apoptosis. FK506 did not promote viability in either cell type in the absence of serum- or nerve growth factor-withdrawal. These observations are consistent with a survival-promoting effect of FK506 in cultured neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2001

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase activation
  • FK506
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Survival factor withdrawal


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