Activation of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase cascade in the hippocampal CA1 region in a rat model of global cerebral ischemic preconditioning

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Abstract

A short period of sublethal preconditioning ischemia (3 min) followed by two days of reperfusion provides almost complete protection against ischemic cell death induced by a second (9 min) lethal ischemic episode. Here, we have investigated the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase, two kinases known to activate gene transcription and to be of importance for cell survival, after sublethal preconditioning ischemia in the rat hippocampal CA1 region. The activation levels of these two kinases were also studied after a second ischemic episode both in preconditioned and nonconditioned brains. An increased phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase was found in neuronal cell bodies, particularly in the nucleus, 30 min, 4 h and two days of reperfusion after preconditioning ischemia. Two days after preconditioning ischemia both extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase were markedly phosphorylated. During the early reperfusion period (30 min) after the second ischemic insult the phosphorylation levels of these two kinases were increased in both nonconditioned and preconditioned brains. In the late reperfusion time (one day), the phosphorylation levels of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase were decreased in preconditioned brains, but remained elevated in nonconditioned brains. We conclude that phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase after sublethal ischemia correlates with the neuroprotection induced by preconditioning, possibly by transcriptional activation of neuroprotective genes. Also, preconditioning enhances normalization of the disturbed cell signaling through the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase cascade induced by lethal ischemia.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology

Keywords

  • Brain ischemia, Cell death, Cell signaling, MAP kinase, Preconditioning, Tolerance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroscience
Volume93
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes