Neurochemical Research

, 34:2147

Rotenone Induces Cell Death of Cholinergic Neurons in an Organotypic Co-Culture Brain Slice Model

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11064-009-0014-9

Cite this article as:
Ullrich, C. & Humpel, C. Neurochem Res (2009) 34: 2147. doi:10.1007/s11064-009-0014-9


In Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease cell death of cholinergic and dopaminergic neurons are characteristic hallmarks, respectively. It is well established that rotenone, an inhibitor of complex I of the electron transport chain, induces cell death of dopaminergic neurons, however, not much is known on the effects of rotenone on cholinergic neurons. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of rotenone on cholinergic neurons in an organotypic in vitro brain co-slice model. When co-cultures were treated with 10 μM rotenone for 24 h a significantly decreased number of cholinergic neurons was found in the basal nucleus of Meynert but not in the dorsal striatum. This cell death exhibited apoptotic DAPI-positive malformed nuclei and enhanced TUNEL-positive cells. In summary, inhibition of complex I of the electron transport chain may play a role in neurodegeneration of cholinergic neurons.


Rotenone Cholinergic neurons Inhibitor of complex I In vitro model 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Psychiatry and Exp. Alzheimer’s Research, Department of PsychiatryInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria

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