Metallothionein induction by bismuth in neonatal rat primary astrocyte cultures

Kelley Cowan, Dawn Conklin, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Metallothionein (MT) proteins and mRNA levels were determined following exposure of neonatal rat primary astrocyte cultures to bismuth. MT mRNA were probed on Northern blots with [α-32P]dCTP labeled synthetic cDNA probes specific for rat MT-I and MT-II mRNA. The probes for MT-I and MT-II mRNA hybridize to a single mRNA with a size appropriate for MT, approxmiately 550 and 450 base pairs for MT-I and MT-II, respectively. Expression of MT-I and MT-II mRNA in astrocyte monolayers exposed to 2 and 10 μM bismuth for 6 h was increased in a dose-dependent manner over MT-I and MT-II mRNA levels in control cells. Western blot analysis revealed a time-dependent increase in MT protein synthesis through 72 h of exposure to bismuth (2-10 μM). Consistent with the bismuth-induced increase in MTs at the mRNA and protein levels, a time- (24-72 h) and dose-dependent (2-10 μM) increase in astrocytic MT-immunoreactivity was noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • astrocyte
  • bismuth
  • in vitro
  • metallothionein
  • rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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