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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Kainic acid-induced apoptosis in rat striatum is associated with nuclear factor-kappaB activation.

The present study evaluated whether nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation contributes to the apoptotic-like death of striatal neurons induced by kainic acid (KA) receptor stimulation. Intrastriatally infused KA (1.25-5.0 nmol) produced substantial neuronal loss as indicated by an 8-73% decrease in 67-kDa glutamic acid decarboxylase (p<0.05). KA (1.25-5.0 nmol) elicited internucleosomal DNA fragmentation that was inhibited by the AMPA/KA receptor antagonist NBQX (1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-6-nitro-2,3-dibenzo[f]quinoxaline-7-sulfonamide) but not by the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801. A decrease in IkappaB-alpha protein levels, which was accompanied by an increase in NF-kappaB binding activity, was found from 6 to 72 h after KA (2.5 nmol) infusion. NF-kappaB was composed mainly of p65 and c-Rel as revealed by supershift assay. In addition, c-Myc and p53 increased from five- to sevenfold from 24 to 72 h after KA (2.5 nmol) administration. Immunohistochemistry revealed high levels of c-Myc and p53 immunoreactivity, mainly in medium-sized striatal neurons. Pretreatment with the cell-permeable recombinant peptide NF-kappaB SN50 (5-20 microg) blocked NF-kappaB nuclear translocation, but had no effect on AP-1 binding. NF-kappaB SN50 also inhibited the KA-induced up-regulation of c-Myc and p53, as well as internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. The apoptotic-like destruction of rat striatal neurons induced by KA receptor stimulation thus appears to involve biochemical mechanisms similar to those mediating the excitotoxic response to NMDA receptor stimulation. The present results provide additional support for the view that NF-kappaB activation contributes to c-Myc and p53 induction and subsequent apoptosis in an excitotoxic model of Huntington's disease.[1]


  1. Kainic acid-induced apoptosis in rat striatum is associated with nuclear factor-kappaB activation. Nakai, M., Qin, Z.H., Chen, J.F., Wang, Y., Chase, T.N. J. Neurochem. (2000) [Pubmed]
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