Astrocyte-derived glutathione attenuates hemin-induced apoptosis in cerebral microvascular cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) induces neurovascular injury via poorly defined mechanisms. The aim of this study was to determine whether gliovascular communication may restrict hemorrhagic vascular injury. Hemin, a hemoglobin by-product, concentrationand time-dependently increased apoptotic cell death in mouse bEnd.3 cells and in primary human brain microvascular endothelial cells, at least in part, via a caspase-3 dependent pathway. Cell death was preceded by a NFκB-mediated increase in inflammatory gene expression, including upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and activity. Functionally, inhibition of iNOS or the addition of a peroxynitrite decomposition catalyst reduced cell death. Interestingly, co-treatment with astrocyte-conditioned media (ACM) reversed hemin-induced NFjB activation, nitrotyrosine formation, and apoptotic cell death, at least in part, via the release of the endogenous antioxidant, reduced glutathione (GSH). Prior treatment of astrocytes with the GSH-depleting agent, DLbuthionine (S,R)-sulfoximine or direct addition of diethyl maleate, a thiol-depleting agent, to ACM reversed the observed protection. In contrast, neither exogenous GSH nor the GSH precursor, N-acetylcysteine, was protective in bEnd.3 cells. Together, these data support an important role for astrocyte-derived GSH in the maintenance of oxidative balance in the vasculature and suggest therapeutic targeting of the GSH system may reduce neurological injury following ICH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1858-1870
Number of pages13
Issue number15
StatePublished - Nov 15 2010


  • Anti-oxidant
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • GSH
  • Glia
  • Neurovascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Astrocyte-derived glutathione attenuates hemin-induced apoptosis in cerebral microvascular cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this