Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is a nuclear enzyme that is involved in DNA repair and activated by DNA damage. When activated, PARP-1 consumes NAD(+) to form ADP-ribose polymers on acceptor proteins. Extensive activation of PARP-1 leads to glycolytic blockade, energy failure, and cell death. These events have been postulated to result from NAD(+) depletion. Here, we used primary astrocyte cultures to directly test this proposal, utilizing the endogenous expression of connexin-43 hemichannels by astrocytes to manipulate intracellular NAD(+) concentrations. Activation of PARP-1 with the DNA alkylating agent N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) produced NAD(+) depletion, glycolytic blockade, and cell death. Cultures incubated in high (10mM) extracellular concentrations of NAD(+) after MNNG exposure showed normalization of intracellular NAD(+) concentrations. Repletion of intracellular NAD(+) in this manner completely restored glycolytic capacity and prevented cell death. These results suggest that NAD(+) depletion is the cause of glycolytic failure after PARP-1 activation.