The dopamine (DA) precursor l-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) and metabolites dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA), and 3-methoxytyramine may serve as substrates for prostaglandin H synthase (PHS)-catalyzed bioactivation to free radical intermediates. We used CHO-K1 cells expressing human (h) PHS-1 or hPHS-2 to investigate hPHS isozyme-dependent oxidative damage and cytotoxicity. hPHS-1- and hPHS-2-expressing cells incubated with DA, L-DOPA, DOPAC, or HVA exhibited increased cytotoxicity compared to untransfected cells, and cytotoxicity was increased further by exogenous arachidonic acid (AA), which increased hPHS activity. Preincubation with catalase, which detoxifies reactive oxygen species, or acetylsalicylic acid, an inhibitor of hPHS-1 and -2, reduced the cytotoxicity caused by DA, L-DOPA, DOPAC, and HVA in hPHS-1 and -2 cells both with and without AA. Protein oxidation was increased in hPHS-1 and -2 cells exposed to DA or L-DOPA and further increased by AA addition. DNA oxidation was enhanced earlier and at lower substrate concentrations than protein oxidation in both hPHS-1 and -2 cells by DA, L-DOPA, DOPAC, and HVA and further enhanced by AA addition. hPHS-2 cells seemed more susceptible than hPHS-1 cells, whereas untransfected CHO-K1 cells were less susceptible. Thus, isozyme-specific, hPHS-dependent oxidative damage and cytotoxicity caused by neurotransmitters, their precursors, and their metabolites may contribute to neurodegeneration associated with aging.
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