(+)-Pentazocine reduces oxidative stress and apoptosis in microglia following hypoxia/reoxygenation injury

Antonino Giarratano, Luca Vanella, Ignazio Barbagallo, Emanuela Arena, Marinella Astuto, Kathrin Heiss, Carlo Castruccio Castracani, Paolo Murabito, Orazio Prezzavento, Giovanni Li Volti, Agata Zappalà, Agostino Marrazzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sigma-1 receptors (σ1R) are highly expressed in neurons as well as microglia and have been shown to modulate the inflammatory response in the central nervous system and thus may serve as possible target for neuroprotective strategies. The aim of the present study was to test the effect of (+)-pentazocine, a putative σ 1R agonist, in an in vitro model of microglia activation. Methods: Microglia (BV2 cells) was exposed (3 h) to 1% oxygen and reoxygenation was allowed for 24 h. Cells were treated with different concentrations (1, 10, 25 and 50 μM) of (+)-pentazocine in the presence or absence of NE-100 (1 μM), a well established σ1R antagonist. Cell viability and apoptosis were measured by cytofluorimetric analysis, whereas oxidative stress was evaluated by reduced glutathione (GSH) content and mitochondrial potential analysis. Results: Our results showed that (+)-pentazocine was able to increase cell viability and restore mitochondrial potential at all concentrations whereas only 1 and 10 μM were able to reduce significantly apoptotic cell death, to restore reduced glutathione intracellular content and prevent ERK1/2 phosphorylation. All these effects were abolished by concomitant treatment with NE-100. Conclusions: (+)-pentazocine exhibits significant dose dependent protective effects in our in vitro model of microglial activation thus suggesting that σ1R may represent a possible target for neuroprotection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience

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