Thursday, December 13, 2012

Arsenic induces apoptosis in myoblasts through a reactive oxygen species-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial dysfunction pathway.

Arch Toxicol. 2012 Jun;86(6):923-33. 
Yen YP, Tsai KS, Chen YW, Huang CF, Yang RS, Liu SH. 
College of Medicine, Institute of Toxicology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. 
Abstract - A pool of myoblasts available for myogenesis is important for skeletal muscle size. The decreased number of skeletal muscle fibers could be due to the decreased myoblast proliferation or cytotoxicity. Identification of toxicants that regulate myoblast apoptosis is important in skeletal muscle development or regeneration. Here, we investigate the cytotoxic effect and its possible mechanisms of arsenic trioxide (As(2)O(3)) on myoblasts. C2C12 myoblasts underwent apoptosis in response to As(2)O(3) (1-10 μM), accompanied by increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, decreased mitochondria membrane potential, increased cytochrome c release, increased caspase-3/-9 activity, and increased poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Moreover, As(2)O(3) triggered the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress indentified through several key molecules of the unfolded protein response, including glucose-regulated protein (GRP)-78, GRP-94, PERK, eIF2α, ATF6, and caspase-12. Pretreatment with antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC, 0.5 mM) dramatically suppressed the increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation, ER stress, caspase cascade activity, and apoptosis in As(2)O(3) (10 μM)-treated myoblasts. Furthermore, As(2)O(3) (10 μM) effectively decreased the phosphorylation of Akt, which could be reversed by NAC. Over-expression of constitutive activation of Akt (c.a. Akt) also significantly attenuated As(2)O(3)-induced myoblast apoptosis. Taken together, these results suggest that As(2)O(3) may exert its cytotoxicity on myoblasts by inducing apoptosis through a ROS-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, ER stress, and Akt inactivation signaling pathway.

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