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Different roles of spermine in glucocorticoid- and Fas-induced apoptosis

  • Cecilia Hegardt
  • Gunnar Andersson
  • Stina Oredsson
Publishing year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 333-341
Publication/Series: Experimental Cell Research
Volume: 266
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Academic Press

Abstract english

Two experimental systems representative of the mitochondrial and death receptor apoptotic pathways are the dexamethasone-induced programmed cell death in mouse thymocytes and the antibody-mediated cross-ligation of the Fas receptor in the human leukemic T-cell line Jurkat, respectively. In both cell systems, caspase-9, -8, and -3 were activated upon induction of apoptosis and a sub-G(1) peak appeared as a sign of ongoing DNA fragmentation. Addition of 1 mM spermine together with dexamethasone inhibited caspase activation and the appearance of the sub-G(1) peak in mouse thymocytes. In contrast, Fas-induced cell death was totally unaffected by spermine addition. Spermine addition significantly elevated the spermine concentration in both thymocytes and Jurkat cells. Thus, spermine per se did not inhibit the caspases but rather their activation. The fact that spermine inhibited caspase activation only in the thymocytes implies that spermine inhibited dexamethasone-induced apoptosis upstream of caspase-9 activation.


  • Cancer and Oncology
  • glucocorticoid
  • apoptosis
  • Fas death receptor
  • thymocytes
  • Jurkat cells
  • sub-G1 peak
  • cell cycle phase distribution
  • polyamines
  • caspases
  • flow cytometry


  • ISSN: 1090-2422
Stina Oredsson
E-mail: stina [dot] oredsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Functional zoology

+46 46 222 94 97



Principal investigator

LUCC - Lund University Cancer Centre

Research group

Animal Physiology


Cell proliferation

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD Students, main supervisor

Wendy Soria Sotillo

PhD Students, assistant supervisor

Atena Malakpour Permlid