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The Interactive Effect Of Alcohol And Nicotine On NGF-treated Pheochromocytoma Cells.

A. Smith, Daniel R Zeve, D. Dohrman, W. Chen
Published 2006 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Previous studies have reported that alcohol exposure reduces the number of neuronal-like pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells in culture. In this study, the interactive effect of coexposure of alcohol and nicotine on PC12 cell numbers was examined in comparison with the effect derived from alcohol or nicotine exposure individually. Moreover, the role of apoptosis in mediating changes in PC12 cell numbers was also investigated. It was hypothesized that alcohol would result in cell loss, and the presence of nicotine would attenuate the damaging effects of alcohol. PC12 cells were exposed to alcohol (100 mM), nicotine (10 microM), or both alcohol and nicotine for 24, 48, 72, or 96 h. Caspase-3 activity and DNA fragmentation, markers for apoptotic cell death, were measured to determine the role of apoptosis in mediating decreases in PC12 cell numbers. The findings indicated that both alcohol and nicotine exposure significantly decreased PC12 cell numbers when compared with the control treatment. Furthermore, the coexposure of these two drugs caused a significantly greater decrease in cell numbers when compared with cells exposed to either alcohol or nicotine alone. This additive effect was related to the duration of exposure with a marked reduction in cell numbers following 96 h of coexposure to alcohol and nicotine. Neither alcohol nor nicotine exposure appeared to alter caspase-3 activity or DNA fragmentation levels, suggesting that the reduction in PC12 cell numbers following alcohol and/or nicotine exposure may possibly be due to factors other than apoptosis, such as interference with proliferation rates.
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