Inosine and guanosine preserve neuronal and glial cell viability in mouse spinal cord cultures during chemical hypoxia

Brain Res. 1999 Mar 13;821(2):426-32. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(99)01086-0.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Cell Hypoxia / physiology
  • Cell Respiration / physiology
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Glycolysis / physiology
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Guanine / pharmacology
  • Guanosine / pharmacology*
  • Inosine / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / cytology*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Guanosine
  • Inosine
  • Guanine
  • peldesine
  • Purine-Nucleoside Phosphorylase
  • Glucose