The in vitro antiapoptotic effect of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in mouse thymocytes and its relation to caspase-3/caspase-6
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The effects of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) on thymocyte apoptosis induced by dexamethasone (DEX) were investigated. Apoptosis was measured by using agarose gel electrophoresis of DNA, the terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase (TdT)- mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay and flow cytometry. Our results showed that preincubation with 1×10−4 M DHEAS protected thymocytes from DEX-induced apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, we found no blocking effect on the DEX-induced activation of caspase-3 and caspase-6 by the preincubation of thymocytes with DHEAS. This may be interpreted to mean that the antagonism of DHEAS to DEX-induced apoptosis is not related to the activation of these downstream caspases which play a critical role in the execution of apoptosis.
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