Zn2+-induced cell death is mediated by the induction of intracellular ROS in ARPE-19 cells

Jeongmin Song, Sung Chul Lee, Sung Soo Kim, Hyung J. Koh, Oh Woong Kwon, Jimmy Jaeyoung Kang, Eung Kweon Kim, Seung Hun Shin, Joon H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. Recent studies have shown that Zn2+ induced cell death in retinal pigment epithelial cells. Here we sought to investigate the mode of Zn2+-induced cell death and the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in human retinal pigment epithelial cell line, ARPE-19 cells. Methods. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay. Cell death of ARPE-19 cells was measured by annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) binding assay, TUNEL assay. The formation of intracellular ROS was measured using 2′,7′- dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA). The activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) was examined by Western blot analysis. Results. This study demonstrated that Zn2+ treatment induced both necrosis and apoptosis in ARPE-19 cells. Exposure of ARPE-19 cells to Zn2+ led to the activation of ERK1/2, JNK1/2/3, and p38 MAPKs. The activation of these MAPKs was blocked by treatment with the antioxidant, N-acetylcystein (NAC). More importantly, inhibition of ROS production by NAC completely prevented Zn2+-induced cell death in RPE cells. Conclusions. This study suggests that Zn2+ induces both apoptosis and necrosis in ARPE-19 cells and that its cytotoxicity may depend on the induction of intracellular ROS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (02-PJ1-PG1-CH02-0003).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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