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

Calpain inhibitors delay injury-induced apoptosis in adult mouse spinal cord motor neurons.

Here, we investigated the effect of calpain inhibitors on apoptosis in organotypic adult spinal cord slices from mice. An increase in calpain I immunoreactivity was found in the nuclei of motor neurons from slices cultured for 30 min. After 4 h, the immunopositive motor neurons exhibited apoptotic changes including nuclear and chromatin condensation. Eight hours after excision, most motor neurons showed nuclear apoptotic features. Two calpain inhibitors, leupeptin and calpain inhibitor XI, inhibited apoptosis in the motor neurons while the caspase inhibitor Z-VAD.fmk had no effect. Leupeptin, but not calpain inhibitor XI and Z-VAD.fmk, also inhibited nucleosomal DNA fragmentation. These results suggest the involvement of calpain I in the induction of apoptosis in motor neurons of adult spinal cord and that apoptosis can be triggered independent of caspase activation.[1]


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