Department of Clinical pharmacy (Okano Lab.)

J Physiol Sci (2011) 61; 403~406
Although the ability of zinc to retard oxidative process has been recognized for insights to elucidate the role of intracellular Zn2+ in cells suffering from oxidative stress, the effects of N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) and ZnCl2 on cellular thiol content and intracellular Zn2+ concentration were studied by use of 5-chloromethylfluorescein diacetate (5-CMF-DA) and FluoZin-3 pentaacetoxymethyl ester (FluoZin-3-AM) in rat thymocytes. The treatment of cells with NEM attenuated 5-CMF fluorescence and augmented FluoZin-3 fluorescence in a dose-dependent manner. These NEM-induced phenomena were observed under external Zn -free condition. Results suggest that NEM decreases cellular thiol content and induces intracellular Zn2+ release. Micromolar ZnCl2 dose-dependently augmented both FluoZin-3 and 5-CMF fluorescences, suggesting that the elevation of intracellular Zn2+ concentration increases cellular thiol content. Taken together, it is hypothesized that intracellular Zn2+ release during oxidative stress is a trigger to restore cellular thiol content that is decreased by oxidative stress.