Cocaine Causes Apoptotic Death in Rat Mesencephalon and Striatum Primary Cultures
(a) In situ histochemical evidence of DNA fragmentation after cocaine exposure. Striatal cultures were first established for 7 days and incubated with cocaine (1.0 mM) for 24 hours. After cells were fixed, the TUNEL method was performed. Cultures were photographed at the level of the neuronal layer. Note the labeling in the vast majority of treated cells, in contrast with the labeling of a few control cells. TUNEL positive cells were dUTP labeled (brown label). The neurons were labeled with MAP2 and NeuN (green label) and Hoechst 33342 (blue label) was added to monitor chromatin condensation. (b) Number of TUNEL positive cells observed by immunostaining of the striatal primary culture treated with PBS or cocaine for 24 hours. Values are mean ± SEM from five independent experiments. Cocaine treatment decreased neuronal viability. Significantly different from the control (PBS) value: by Student’s t-test.
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