Induction of Apoptosis at Different Oxygen Tensions: Evidence That Oxygen Radicals Do Not Mediate Apoptotic Signaling

Ruth J. Muschel, Eric J. Bernhard, Luis Garza, W. Gillies McKenna, Cameron J. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Apoptosis has been hypothesized to be mediated through the induction of free radicals via oxidative pathways. Furthermore, it has been proposed that Bcl-2 acts to inhibit apoptosis induced by a wide variety of stimuli by preventing the production of oxygen-derived free radicals. Since the generation of oxygen free radicals is dependent upon oxygen concentration, this hypothesis would lead to the prediction that the concentration of oxygen should affect the induction of apoptosis. In order to test this prediction, we have examined the induction of apoptosis in T-lymphoma cell lines S49.1 and WEHI 7.1 by dexamethasone and by withdrawal of serum from myc-immortalized fibroblasts in 95% oxygen, atmospheric oxygen (20%), and hypoxic conditions of up to 125-fold less oxygen. Culture in 95% oxygen induced apoptosis in all cells tested, confirming that oxidative damage can lead to apoptosis. However, for one cell line, WEHI 7.1, hypoxia also induced apoptosis. Furthermore, for the other cell lines tested, induction of apoptosis by either dexamethasone or by serum withdrawal was not affected by hypoxia. These results are not consistent with the hypothesis that apoptosis is mediated via oxygen-generated free radical formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-998
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Research
Volume55
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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