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Neurosci Lett. 2005 Oct 21;387(2):115-9.

Estradiol prevents the injury-induced decrease of Akt activation and Bad phosphorylation.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine and Institute of Animal Science, Gyeongsang National University, Chinju 660-701, South Korea.


Estradiol prevents neuronal cell death through the inhibition of apoptotic signals and the activation of cell survival signals. This study investigated whether estradiol modulates the anti-apoptotic signal through the activation of Akt and its downstream targets, including Bad, Bcl-x(L), and 14-3-3. Adult female rats were ovariectomied and treated with estradiol prior to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Brains were collected 24 h after MCAO and infarct volumes were analyzed. We confirmed that estradiol significantly reduces infarct volume and decreases the positive cells of TUNEL staining in the cerebral cortex. Potential activation was measured by phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 and Bad at Ser136 using Western blot analysis. Estradiol prevents the injury-induced decrease of pAkt, pBad, and Bcl-x(L). Further, in the presence of estradiol, the interaction of pBad and 14-3-3 increased, compared to that of oil-treated animals. Our findings suggest that estradiol prevents cell death due to brain injury and that Akt activation and Bad phosphorylation by estradiol mediated these protective effects.

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