Author(s): Chang JY, Liu LZ
Abstract Cultured rat cerebellar granule cells were used to determine the potential neurotoxicity of cholesterol oxides. The cholesterol oxides tested included: 7-beta-OH-, 7-keto-, 19-OH-, 22(R)-OH-, 22(S)-OH- and 25-OH- cholesterol. Among them, 7-beta-OH- and 7-keto-cholesterol were the most efficacious in causing neuronal death such that 20 microg/ml (50 microM) of these agents killed more than 80\% of cells in 2 days. 7-beta-OH-cholesterol at this concentration killed 50\% of cells in approximately 7 h. A number of pharmacological agents were tested for their abilities to prevent neuronal death induced by cholesterol oxides. Among them, aurintricarboxylic acid, vitamin E and methyl-beta-cyclodextrin were able to prevent cholesterol oxide-induced neurotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that, in addition to causing pathological changes in cells directly involved in atherosclerosis, cholesterol oxides may induce toxicity in neurons of the central nervous system.