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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Mar 28;97(7):3637-42.

Stanniocalcin: A molecular guard of neurons during cerebral ischemia.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014, Helsinki, Finland.


Stanniocalcin (STC) is a glycoprotein hormone originally found in bony fish, in which it regulates calcium/phosphate homeostasis and protects against hypercalcemia. The recently characterized human STC shows about 70% homology with fish STC. We previously reported a constitutive expression of STC in terminally differentiated neurons. Here, we show that exposure of human neural-crest-derived cell line Paju to hypercalcemic culture medium induced expression of STC. Treatment of Paju cells with recombinant human STC increased their uptake of inorganic phosphate. Paju cells expressing STC by cDNA transfection displayed increased resistance to ischemic challenge and to elevated intracellular free calcium induced by treatment with thapsigargin. An up-regulated and redistributed expression of STC was observed in neurons surrounding the core of acute infarcts in human and rat brains. Given that mobilization and influx of calcium is considered a main neurotoxic mechanism following ischemia, our results suggest that the altered expression of STC contributes to the protection of cerebral neurons against hypoxic/ischemic damage. Manipulation of the STC expression may therefore offer a therapeutic approach to limit the injury after ischemic brain insults.

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