Testosterone induces neuroprotection from oxidative stress. Effects on catalase activity and 3-nitro-L-tyrosine incorporation into alpha-tubulin in a mouse neuroblastoma cell line.

V. Chisu, P. Manca, G. Lepore, S. Gadau, M. Zedda, V. Farina


3-nitro-L-tyrosine is formed by nitric oxide following different pathways such as NADPH oxidase, xanthine oxidase or glutamate NMDA receptor activation and is involved in the pathology of different neurological disorders. Unlike estradiol, a neuroprotective role of androgens against oxidative cell injury has not been fully investigated. This work targets the possible effects of testosterone on neuroblastoma cells exposed to 3-nitro-L-tyrosine. C1300 mouse undifferentiated neuroblastoma cells exposed to 3-nitro-L-tyrosine were cultured in the presence of testosterone. Morphological examination, proliferation and nuclear viability assays were performed. The expression of tyrosinated alpha-tubulin and incorporation of 3-nitro-L-tyrosine into protein were also estimated. Cells exposed to 3-nitro-L-tyrosine showed globular shape, reduced cytoplasmic processes and growth inhibition in comparison with controls. When testosterone was added to the medium, these changes were not evident. In addition, testosterone induced an upregulation of tyrosinated alpha-tubulin, a marker of neuronal plasticity, and a decrease in 3-nitro-L-tyrosine incorporation into tubulin. Our results suggest that testosterone exposure can diminish 3-nitro-L-tyrosine toxic effects on the morphology and growth rate of neuroblastoma cells. The upregulation of tyrosinated alpha-tubulin in testosterone-exposed cells would be consistent with concurrent plasticity events. Failure in alpha-tubulin nitration detected in cells exposed to both 3-nitro-L-tyrosine and testosterone, may support the idea that testosterone interferes with 3-nitro-L-tyrosine protein incorporation. Moreover, testosterone-induced neuroprotection likely entails a linkage with the androgen receptor as is suggested by the flutamide-induced inhibition of the hormone activity. Finally, the neuroprotective effects of testosterone in neuroblastoma cells could deal with the cellular antioxidant defence system, as shown by testosterone-induced increase in catalase activity.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4449/aib.v144i2.882


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