Murine spinal cord primary mixed cultures were treated with the respiratory inhibitor, rotenone, to mimic hypoxic conditions. Under these conditions neurons rapidly underwent oncosis (necrosis) with a complete loss in viability occurring within 260 min; however, astrocytes, which accounted for most of the cell population, died more slowly with 50% viability occurring at 565 min. Inosine preserved both total cell and neuronal viability in a concentration-dependent manner. The time of inosine addition relative to hypoxic insult was critical with the most effective protection occurring when inosine was added just prior to or within 5 min after insult. Inosine was ineffective when added 30 min after hypoxic insult. The effect of guanosine was similar to that of inosine. Treatment of cultures with BCX-34, a purine nucleoside phosphorylase inhibitor, prevented protection by inosine or guanosine, suggesting involvement of a purine nucleoside phosphorylase in the nucleoside protective effect.
Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.