We examined the effects of various neurotrophic factors and cytokines on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced toxicity in PC12 cells. Exposure of PC12 cells to 6-OHDA resulted in a concentration- and time-dependent cell death, as evidenced by the release of lactate dehydrogenase into the culture medium. Addition of catalase, but not superoxide dismutase, to the culture medium protected PC12 cells from the 6-OHDA-induced toxicity. Interleukin (IL)-6 provided a dose-dependent protection against the 6-OHDA toxicity, as did nerve growth factor (NGF). In addition, basic fibroblast growth factor and dibutyryl cyclic AMP partially protected PC12 cells from 6-OHDA toxicity. Neither IL-1α, IL-2, IL-4, transforming growth factor-β, nor leukemia inhibitory factor had any effect. The protective effect of IL-6 was attenuated by 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole, an inhibitor of catalase. These results suggest that IL-6 may protect PC12 cells against the 6-OHDA toxicity by activating free radical detoxifying mechanisms, such as catalase activity.
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