Peroxynitrite causes apoptosis in rat thymocytes

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Oct 24;215(3):1111-8. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1995.2578.


Peroxynitrite is demonstrated to cause apoptosis in freshly harvested rat thymocytes suspended in phosphate buffer, as shown by the typical ladder pattern of DNA fragmentation. This evidence suggests a new function for peroxynitrite, already known to be a strong oxidant. Peroxynitrite can nick DNA, oxidize cellular thiols and initiate the apoptotic process responsible for genomic degradation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA / analysis
  • DNA / drug effects
  • Male
  • Nitrates / pharmacology*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Thymus Gland / cytology*
  • Thymus Gland / drug effects
  • Thymus Gland / physiology*


  • Nitrates
  • peroxynitric acid
  • DNA