Hydrogen peroxide activation of multiple mitogen-activated protein kinases in an oligodendrocyte cell line: role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death

J Neurochem. 1999 Jan;72(1):112-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1999.0720112.x.


Oxidative stress is known to induce cell death in a wide variety of cell types, apparently by modulating intracellular signaling pathways. In this study, we have examined the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades in relation to oxidant-induced cell death in an oligodendrocyte cell line, central glia-4 (CG4). Exposure of CG4 cells to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) resulted in an increased tyrosine phosphorylation of several protein species, including the abundantly expressed platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor and the activation of the three MAPK subgroups, i.e., extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38 MAPK, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Dose-response studies showed differential sensitivities of PDGF receptor phosphorylation (>1 mM) and ERK/p38 MAPK (>0.5 mM) and JNK (>0.1 mM) activation by H2O2. The activation of ERK was inhibited by PD98059, a specific inhibitor of the upstream kinase, MAPK or ERK kinase (MEK). H2O2 also activated MAPK-activated protein kinase-2, and this activation was blocked by SB203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 MAPK. The oxidant-induced cell death was indicated by morphological changes, decreased 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide reduction, and DNA fragmentation. These effects were suppressed dose-dependently by the MEK inhibitor PD98059. The results demonstrate that H2O2 induces the activation of multiple MAPKs in oligodendrocyte progenitors and that the activation of ERK is associated with oxidant-mediated cytotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / analysis
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology*
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Immunoblotting
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases*
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases*
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology
  • Oligodendroglia / drug effects
  • Oligodendroglia / enzymology*
  • Oxidants / pharmacology*
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Protein Kinases / analysis
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Imidazoles
  • Oxidants
  • Pyridines
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Protein Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • SB 203580
  • 2-(2-amino-3-methoxyphenyl)-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one