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Ascorbic acid prevents beta-amyloid-induced intracellular calcium increase and cell death in PC12 cells

haracteristic of Alzheimer's disease include loss of brain neurons associated with the deposit of beta-amyloid protein (A beta) which is thought to be toxic to neurons possibly via induction of intracellular calcium and generation of free radicals. On this basis, it has been determined the effect of ascorbic acid on the cell death and calcium induced by A beta in PC12 cells. It was found that ascorbic acid completely abolished A beta-induced calcium increase and cell death in PC12 cells, indicating that calcium elevation and cell death are associated phenomena induced by A beta that can be rescued by antioxidants. These results are important to understand the mechanism by which A beta is toxic to neurons and suggest that antioxidants may be part of future treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

Yallampalli s, Micci MA, Tagialatela G. Nurosci Lett 1998;251:105-108

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