Intracellular zinc release and ERK phosphorylation are required upstream of 12-lipoxygenase activation in peroxynitrite toxicity to mature rat oligodendrocytes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Peroxynitrite toxicity has been implicated in the pathogenesis of white matter injury. The mechanisms of peroxynitrite toxicity to oligodendrocytes (OLs), the major cell type of the white matter, are unknown. Using primary cultures of mature OLs that express myelin basic protein, we found that 3-morpholinosydnonimine, a peroxynitrite generator, caused toxicity to OLs. N,N,N',N'-tetrakis (2-pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine, a zinc chelator, completely blocked peroxynitrite-induced toxicity. Use of FluoZin-3, a specific fluorescence zinc indicator, demonstrated the liberation of zinc from intracellular stores by peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrite caused the sequential activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 42/44 (ERK42/44), 12-lipoxygenase, and generation of reactive oxygen species, which were all dependent upon the intracellular release of zinc. The same cell death pathway was also activated when exogenous zinc was used. These results suggest that in addition to preventing the formation of peroxynitrite, useful strategies in preventing disease progression in pathologies in which peroxynitrite toxicity plays a critical role might include maintaining intracellular zinc homeostasis, blocking phosphorylation of ERK42/44, inhibiting activation of 12-lipoxygenase, and eliminating the accumulation of reactive oxygen species.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Y., Wang, H., Li, J., Dong, L., Xu, P., Chen, W., ... Rosenberg, P. A.

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Yumin||Wang, Hong||Li, Jianrong||Dong, Ling||Xu, Ping||Chen, Weizhi||Neve, Rachael L||Volpe, Joseph J||Rosenberg, Paul A

publication date

  • April 2006