Neuronal nitric oxide synthase protects neuroblastoma cells from oxidative stress mediated by garlic derivatives

Katia Aquilano, Giuseppe Filomeni, Sara Baldelli, Sara Piccirillo, Angelo De Martino, Giuseppe Rotilio, Maria Rosa Ciriolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we further examined the effects of diallyl disulfide (DADS), one of the major components of oil-soluble garlic extracts (GE) and of raw water GE on SH-SY5Y and NSC34 neuronal cell lines. Both treatments with DADS and GE were able to induce growth arrest and apoptosis, and we observed an increased flux of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species as early signs of cytotoxicity. We demonstrated that the content of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) increased as early as 1 h of treatment demonstrating to be a very early sensor of DADS and GE cytotoxicity. Treatments with l-nitropropyl-arginine, an inhibitor of nNOS, increased the rate of apoptosis whereas the overexpression of nNOS significantly reduced cell death by inhibiting DNA damage, protein oxidation, and the activation of the JNK/c-Jun apoptotic signaling cascade. Overall these results demonstrate that garlic derivatives may modulate nNOS and suggest an important contribution of nitric oxide in counteracting their reactive oxygen species-mediated cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1337
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • c-Jun
  • c-Jun-NH-terminal kinase
  • Diallyl disulfide
  • Garlic
  • Neuronal nitric oxide synthase
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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