Metabolic and Energetic Changes During Apoptosis in Neural Cells

Jason C. Mills, David Nelson, Maria Erecińska, Randall N. Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Changes in cellular energetic and metabolic parameters were analyzed at several time points during apoptosis of differentiated PC12 cells following removal of nerve growth factor (NGF). As approximately 60% of the population died during the period of study (24 h), most of the measured metabolic indicators declined over time. However, this decline paralleled the overall decrease in cellular viability, suggesting that, in individual cells, a compromised metabolic state occurred suddenly and very late in the death process. For example, when expressed as a function of viable cells, protein and RNA synthesis did not decrease until 24 h. Glucose utilization in live cells was never significantly reduced relative to control levels; lactate production decreased slightly within 4–8 h after NGF removal, but eventually rebounded to 122% of control levels by 24 h. ATP levels dropped 27% in an early predeath period, but then returned to near control levels (on a per‐live‐cell basis) once the population actively began to die. The ATP/ADP ratio remained at least 84% of control throughout. UTP/UDP and GTP/GDP ratios did not change significantly at any time point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1721-1730
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995


  • ATP
  • Apoptosis
  • Glucose utilization
  • Lactate production
  • PC12 cells
  • Programmed cell death


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolic and Energetic Changes During Apoptosis in Neural Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this