Astrocytes protect neurons against reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide, a capacity which reportedly is abolished following loss of the antioxidant glutathione. Anethole dithiolethione, a sulfur-containing compound which is used in humans, is known to increase cellular glutathione levels and thought thereby to protect against oxidative damage. In the present study we found that anethole dithiolethione increased the glutathione content of cultured rat striatal astrocytes. This effect was abolished by coincubation with the glutathione synthesis inhibitor buthionine sulfoximine. Nevertheless, in the presence of buthionine sulfoximine, despite the lack of an increase in the lowered glutathione level, anethole dithiolethione fully protected the astrocytes against the enhanced toxicity of hydrogen peroxide. Thus, apparently other mechanisms than stimulation of glutathione synthesis are involved in the compound's protective action in astrocytes. Considering the occurrence of lowered glutathione levels in neurodegenerative syndromes, we conclude that further evaluation of the therapeutic potential of anethole dithiolethione is warranted.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||European Journal of Pharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Jun 1997|