Minimal peroxide exposure of neuronal cells induces multifaceted adaptive responses

PLoS One. 2010 Dec 17;5(12):e14352. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014352.


Oxidative exposure of cells occurs naturally and may be associated with cellular damage and dysfunction. Protracted low level oxidative exposure can induce accumulated cell disruption, affecting multiple cellular functions. Accumulated oxidative exposure has also been proposed as one of the potential hallmarks of the physiological/pathophysiological aging process. We investigated the multifactorial effects of long-term minimal peroxide exposure upon SH-SY5Y neural cells to understand how they respond to the continued presence of oxidative stressors. We show that minimal protracted oxidative stresses induce complex molecular and physiological alterations in cell functionality. Upon chronic exposure to minimal doses of hydrogen peroxide, SH-SY5Y cells displayed a multifactorial response to the stressor. To fully appreciate the peroxide-mediated cellular effects, we assessed these adaptive effects at the genomic, proteomic and cellular signal processing level. Combined analyses of these multiple levels of investigation revealed a complex cellular adaptive response to the protracted peroxide exposure. This adaptive response involved changes in cytoskeletal structure, energy metabolic shifts towards glycolysis and selective alterations in transmembrane receptor activity. Our analyses of the global responses to chronic stressor exposure, at multiple biological levels, revealed a viable neural phenotype in-part reminiscent of aged or damaged neural tissue. Our paradigm indicates how cellular physiology can subtly change in different contexts and potentially aid the appreciation of stress response adaptations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genomics
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Peroxides / chemistry*
  • Proteomics / methods


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Ligands
  • Peroxides
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Calcium