Autophagy 2007 Jul-Aug;3(4):366-7. Epub 2007 Jul 26.
CIBER de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular y Genética, EU Enfermería y TO, Universidad de Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.
Paraquat (PQ) (1, 1'-dimethyl-4, 4'-bipyridinium dichloride), a widely used herbicide, has been suggested as a potential etiologic factor for the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). In neurons from patients with PD display characteristics of autophagy, a degradative mechanism involved in the recycling and turnover of cytoplasmic constituents from eukaryotic cells. Low concentrations of paraquat have been recently found to induce autophagy in human neuroblastoma cells, and ultimately the neurons succumb to apoptotic death. Whereas caspase inhibition retarded cell death, autophagy inhibition accelerated the apoptotic cell death induced by paraquat. These findings suggest a relationship between autophagy and apoptotic cell death in human neuroblastoma cells treated with paraquat and open a new line of investigation to advance our knowledge regarding the origin of PD.