Dimethyl sulfoxide, but not acidosis-induced metallothionein mRNA expression in neonatal rat primary astrocyte cultures is inhibited by the bioflavonoid, quercetin

Dawn R. Conklin, Kim H. Tan, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Metallothionein (MT) mRNA levels were analyzed following exposure of neonatal rat primary astrocyte cultures to physiologic pH (7.4), acidosis (pH 6.5 and 6.0), and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Treatments were carded out both in the presence and absence of the bioflavonoid, quercetin. Total RNA was probed on northern blots with [α32P]dCTP-labeled synthetic cDNA probes specific for rat MT isoform mRNAs. MT-I and MT-II mRNA levels in astrocytes exposed to pH 6.5 or pH 6.0 were increased compared to controls (pH 7.4). Treatment with DMSO in the presence and absence of acidosis, also increased MT-I and MT-II mRNA levels compared to controls (pH 7.4). The DMSO-induced increase in MT mRNA expression was reversed by treatment of astrocytes with quercetin, such that MT-I and MT-II mRNA levels in DMSO plus quercetin- treated astrocytes were indistinguishable from mRNA levels in their respective controls at pH 7.4, pH 6.5, and pH 6.0. These findings suggest that both acidosis and DMSO exposure are associated with increased astrocytic MT synthesis at the mRNA level, and that quercetin, effectively blocks MT mRNA induction by DMSO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1998
Externally publishedYes



  • Acidosis
  • Astrocyte
  • Bioflavonoid
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide
  • In vitro
  • MRNA
  • Metallothionein
  • Quercetin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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