NADPH oxidase contributes directly to oxidative stress and apoptosis in nerve growth factor-deprived sympathetic neurons

J Neurosci. 2000 Jan 1;20(1):RC53. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.20-01-j0006.2000.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are necessary for programmed cell death (PCD) in neurons, but the underlying ROS-producing enzymes have not been identified. NADPH oxidase produces ROS, although the expression of its five subunits are thought to be restricted largely to non-neuronal cells. Here, we show that NADPH oxidase subunits are present in neurons. Moreover, both an NADPH oxidase inhibitor, diphenyleneiodonium, and NAPDH oxidase genetic deficiency inhibit apoptosis in a classic model of PCD, i.e., NGF-deprived sympathetic neurons. Overall, these results indicate that NADPH oxidase is unexpectedly present in neurons and can contribute to neuronal apoptosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • NADPH Oxidases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NADPH Oxidases / metabolism*
  • Nerve Growth Factor / deficiency*
  • Nerve Growth Factor / genetics
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Onium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / cytology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / enzymology
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / metabolism*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Onium Compounds
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • diphenyleneiodonium
  • Nerve Growth Factor
  • NADPH Oxidases