Glucose deprivation and chemical hypoxia: Neuroprotection by P2 receptor antagonists

Fabio Cavaliere, Nadia D'Ambrosi, Maria Teresa Ciotti, Giorgio Mancino, Giuseppe Sancesario, Giorgio Bernardi, Cinzia Volonté

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work we investigate cell survival after glucose deprivation and/or chemical hypoxia and we analyse the neuroprotective properties of selected antagonists of P2 ATP receptors. We find that in rat cerebellar granule neurones, the antagonist basilen blue prevents neuronal death under hypoglycaemia. Basilen blue acts through a wide temporal range and it retains its efficacy under chemically induced hypoxic conditions, in the presence of the respiratory inhibitors of mitochondria electron transport chain complexes II (3-nitropropionic acid) and III (antimycin A). In spite of the presence of these compounds, basilen blue maintains normal intracellular ATP levels. It furthermore prevents neuronal death caused by agents blocking the mitochondrial calcium uptake (ruthenium red) or discharging the mitochondrial membrane potential (carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone). Inhibition of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, modulation of the enzyme GAPDH and mitochondrial transport of mono-carboxylic acids are not conceivable targets for the action of basilen blue. Survival is sustained by basilen blue also in CNS primary cultures from hippocampus and in PNS sympathetic-like neurones. Partial neuroprotection is furthermore provided by three additional P2 receptor antagonists: suramin, pyridoxal-phosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid 4-sodium and 4,4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'disulphonic acid. Our data suggest the exploitation of selected P2 receptor antagonists as potential neuroprotective agents. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemistry International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • ATP
  • Basilen blue
  • Cerebellar granule neurones
  • Energy metabolism
  • Hippocampal neurones
  • PC12 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Glucose deprivation and chemical hypoxia: Neuroprotection by P2 receptor antagonists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this