Specific combinations of ion channel inhibitors reduce excessive Ca2+ influx as a consequence of oxidative stress and increase neuronal and glial cell viability in vitro

Ryan L. O'Hare Doig, Carole A. Bartlett, Nicole M. Smith, Stuart I. Hodgetts, Sarah A. Dunlop, Livia Hool, Melinda Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Combinations of Ca2+ channel inhibitors have been proposed as an effective means to prevent excess Ca2+ flux and death of neurons and glia following neurotrauma in vivo. However, it is not yet known if beneficial outcomes such as improved viability have been due to direct effects on intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. Here, the effects of combinations of Lomerizine (Lom), 2,3-dioxo-7-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)6-nitro-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1-quinoxalinyl]acetic acid monohydrate (YM872), 3,5-dimethyl-1-adamantanamine (memantine (Mem)) and/or adenosine 5′-triphosphate periodate oxidized sodium salt (oxATP) to block voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, Ca2+ permeable α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors, NMDA receptors and purinergic P2X7 receptors (P2X7R) respectively, on Ca2+ concentration and viability of rat primary mixed cortical (MC) cultures exposed to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) insult, were assessed. The contribution of ryanodine-sensitive intracellular stores to intracellular Ca2+ concentration was also assessed. Live cell calcium imaging revealed that a 30 min H2O2 insult induced a slow increase in intracellular Ca2+, in part from intracellular sources, associated with loss of cell viability by 6 h. Most combinations of inhibitors that included oxATP significantly decreased Ca2+ influx and increased cell viability when administered simultaneously with H2O2. However, reductions in intracellular Ca2+ concentration were not always linked to improved cell viability. Examination of the density of specific cell subpopulations demonstrated that most combinations of inhibitors that included oxATP preserved NG2+ non-oligodendroglial cells, but preservation of astrocytes and neurons required additional inhibitors. Olig2+ oligodendroglia and ED-1+ activated microglia/macrophages were not preserved by any of the inhibitor combinations. These data indicate that following H2O2 insult, limiting intracellular Ca2+ entry via P2X7R is generally associated with increased cell viability. Protection of NG2+ non-oligodendroglial cells by Ca2+ channel inhibitor combinations may contribute to observed beneficial outcomes in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-462
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 17 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Ca channel inhibitors
  • Cell viability
  • NG2-glia
  • intracellular Ca concentration
  • oligodendroglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this