Corticosteroids protect oligodendrocytes from cytokine-induced cell death

Roberto C. Melcangi, Ilaria Cavarretta, Valerio Magnaghi, Emilio Ciusani, Andrea Salmaggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present data show that the simultaneous exposure to tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interferon-γ (IFNγ) induces cell death with characteristics of apoptosis in cultured rat oligodendrocytes; TNFα alone was ineffective. We have also demonstrated that different corticosteroids (aldosterone, deoxycorticosterone, dexamethasone and corticosterone) protect rat oligodendrocytes in culture from apoptosis induced by TNFα plus IFNγ. This effect seems to be exerted via the interaction with both type I and type II corticosteroid receptors since all steroids considered are effective. Since oligodendrocyte apoptosis represents an important event in multiple sclerosis and in several demyelinating diseases, the present observations might be considered an interesting background for further researches directed to the possibility of controlling in vivo the death of these cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3969-3972
Number of pages4
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Apoptosis
  • Corticosteroids
  • IFNγ
  • In vitro
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Rat
  • TNFα

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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