Adenine nucleotide metabolism in primary rat neuronal cultures

Sara Brosh, Esther Zoref-Shani, Esther Danziger, Yael Bromberg, Oded Sperling*, Yechezkel Sidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The metabolism of adenine nucleotides (AdRN) has been studied previously in whole brains, brain slices and brain extracts, containing mixed populations of neurons and glia. The availability of primary neuronal cultures enables us to study these pathways in almost pure neuronal preparations. The aim of the present study was to characterize the relative importance of the pathways of AdRN metabolism in the neurons. The metabolic fate of (8-14C)adenine and of AdRN prelabeled with (8-14C)adenine were studied in immature and mature primary rat neuronal cultures. Specific inhibitors were used to clarify the various metabolic fluxes, which were evaluated based on the time-related changes in the distribution of label (the cellular nucleotide content did not change during incubation). The turnover rate of AdRN was found to reflect mainly conversion of label to acid insoluble derivatives (AID) and partly degradation to hypoxanthine. The turnover was faster in the immature neurons. The combined addition of 2'-deoxycoformycin (2'-dCF) and of 5'-amino-5'-deoxyadenosine, inhibiting adenosine metabolism, resulted in both cultures in enhanced loss of label from AdRN, mainly to adenosine and adenine. This finding indicates the activity of the futile cycle AMP→adenosine→AMP. In both cultures, in the presence of these inhibitors, the ratio (hypoxanthine + inosine)/(adenine + adenosine) was 1.1, indicating that the fluxes through AMP deamination and AMP dephosphorylation are about equal. Addition of L-alanosine, inhibiting the conversion of IMP to AMP, resulted in both cultures, but especially in the mature neurons, in enhanced loss of label from AdRN to hypoxanthine and inosine. This finding indicates the functioning of the adenine nucleotide cycle (AMP→IMP→adenylosuccinic acid→AMP). Under conditions of enhanced degradation of ATP (induced by iodoacetate and antimycin A), addition of 2'-dCF resulted in the immature cultures in lowering the ratio (hypoxanthine + inosine + IMP)/(adenine + adenosine) to 0.62, indicating a shift in favor of AMP dephosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1996


  • 2'-deoxycoformycin
  • 5'-amino-5'-deoxyadenosine
  • L-alanosine
  • neuronal cultures
  • nucleotide cycle
  • purine nucleotide metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Adenine nucleotide metabolism in primary rat neuronal cultures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this