Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 4017–4025 | Cite as

The sulfite molecule enhances homocysteine toxicity in SH-SY5Y cells

  • Gulsah GundogduEmail author
  • Yavuz Dodurga
  • Vural Kucukatay
Original Article


Homocysteine (hcy) is an amino acid that contains sulfur species. In healthy individuals, plasma hcy levels are low. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential neurotoxic effects of hcy and sulfite (sft) molecules alone and in their combination, and also to identify the relationship of these substances on oxidative stress. SH-SY5Y cells were used as an invitro neurodegenerative disease model. The SH-SY5Y cells were treated with various concentrations of hcy alone, sft alone (final concentrations in the well were 10–250 µM and 0.1–5 mM, respectively) and a combination of both (hcy + sft). Their cytotoxicity and genotoxic effects were investigated using the XTT test and Comet assay and, their impact on oxidative stress was examined using total antioxidant–oxidant status (TAS-TOS) kits. The highest toxic doses of hcy and sft were found to be 250 μM and 5 mM, respectively, but the maximum toxic effect was observed for hcy + sft (p < 0.001). In addition, an increase in DNA damage was evident in all groups, but maximal damage was inflicted using in hcy + sft (p < 0.001). The oxidative stress index was significantly increased in hcy + sft (p < 0.05). Determining the increase in sft and hcy levels may contribute to delaying the occurrence of diseases before symptoms of neurodegenerative disease appear.


Homocysteine Sulfite Neurotoxicity Neurodegenerative diseases 



This study was supported by Pamukkale University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit with Project Numbers 2011TPF024. We thanks to Dr. Ertugrul Kilic for kindly providing SH-SY5Y cells to us.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Ethical approval

This paper contains only in vitro cell culture studies. Therefore, Ethics Committee approval and information on informed consent were not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineAtatürk UniversityErzurumTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of MedicinePamukkale UniversityDenizliTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicinePamukkale UniversityDenizliTurkey

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