Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2002 Dec;6(6):281-286.

Ceramide is Involved in MPP+ -induced Cytotoxicity in Human Neuroblastoma Cells

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Seoul National University College of Medicine and Neuroscience Research Institute, Medical Research Center, Seoul, Korea. kimysu@plaza.snu.ac.kr
  • 2Neuroscience Research Institute, Gachon Medical School, Incheon, Korea.


To understand the cytotoxic mechanism of MPP+, we examined the involvement of ceramide in MPP+ -induced cytotoxicity to human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. When SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to MPP+, MPP+ induced dose-dependent cytotoxicity accompanied by 2-fold elevation of intracellular ceramide levels in SH-SY5Y cells. Three methods were used to test the hypothesis that the elevated intracellular ceramide is related to MPP+ -induced cytotoxicity: C2-ceramide was directly applied to cells, sphingomyelinase (SMase) was exogenously added, and oleoylethanolamine (OE) was used to inhibit degradation of ceramide. Furthermore, inhibition of ceramide-activated protein phosphatase (CAPP), the effector of ceramide, using okadaic acid (OA) attenuated cell death but treatment of fumonisin B1, the ceramide synthase inhibitor, did not alter the cytotoxic effect of MPP+. Based on these, we suggest that the elevation of intracellular ceramide is one of the important mediators in MPP+ -induced cell death.


Dopaminergic neuroblastoma; MPP+; Sphingomyelinase; Ceramide-activated protein phosphatase

MeSH Terms

Cell Death
Okadaic Acid
Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase
Okadaic Acid
Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase
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