Bcl-2 affects survival but not neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells

J Neurosci. 1993 Oct;13(10):4422-8. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.13-10-04422.1993.


Past studies have shown that serum-free cultures of PC12 cells are a useful model system for studying the mechanisms of neuronal death after neurotrophic factor deprivation. These cultures, as well as NGF-deprived cultures of sympathetic neurons, manifest and endonuclease activity that leads to "apoptotic" internucleosomal DNA cleavage. Overexpression of the proto-oncogene bcl-2 blocks apoptotic death in various cell types. To study the actions of this protein in neuronal cells, we derived PC12 cell lines stably transfected with a cDNA encoding human bcl-2. It is reported here that lines expressing high levels of the exogenous bcl-2 protein are protected from both death and apoptotic DNA fragmentation caused by removal of trophic support. However, expression of high levels of exogenous bcl-2 neither mimics nor interferes with promotion of neurite outgrowth by NGF.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Nerve Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • PC12 Cells
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Proto-Oncogenes*
  • RNA / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / analysis
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transfection


  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • RNA
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases