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Antioxidants (Basel) ; 11(5)2022 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875461


Ivermectin (IVM) could cause potential neurotoxicity; however, the precise molecular mechanisms remain unclear. This study explores the cytotoxicity of IVM in human neuroblastoma (SH-SY5Y) cells and the underlying molecular mechanisms. The results show that IVM treatment (2.5-15 µM) for 24 h could induce dose-dependent cell death in SH-SY5Y cells. Compared to the control, IVM treatment significantly promoted the production of ROS, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cell apoptosis. IVM treatment also promoted mitophagy and autophagy, which were charactered by the decreased expression of phosphorylation (p)-Akt and p-mTOR proteins, increased expression of LC3II, Beclin1, ATG5, PINK, and Pakin1 proteins and autophagosome formation. N-acetylcysteine treatment significantly inhibited the IVM-induced production of ROS and cell death in SH-SY5Y cells. Autophagy inhibitor (e.g., 3-methyladenine) treatment significantly inhibited IVM-induced autophagy, oxidative stress, and cell apoptosis. Taken together, our results reveal that IVM could induce autophagy and apoptotic cell death in SH-SY5Y cells, which involved the production of ROS, activation of mitochondrial pathway, and inhibition of Akt/mTOR pathway. Autophagy inhibition improved IVM-induced oxidative stress and apoptotic cell death in SH-SY5Y cells. This current study provides new insights into understanding the molecular mechanism of IVM-induced neurotoxicity and facilitates the discovery of potential neuroprotective agents.