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BMC Neurosci. 2006 May 19;7:40.

Adrenalectomy promotes a permanent decrease of plasma corticoid levels and a transient increase of apoptosis and the expression of Transforming Growth Factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) in hippocampus: effect of a TGF-beta1 oligo-antisense.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Laboratory of Neurobiochemistry, Faculty of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universidad de Chile, Chile.



Corticosterone reduction produced by adrenalectomy (ADX) induces apoptosis in dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, an effect related to an increase in the expression of the pro-apoptotic gene bax. However it has been reported that there is also an increase of the anti-apoptotic gene bcl-2, suggesting the promotion of a neuroprotective phenomenon, perhaps related to the expression of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1). Thus, we have investigated whether TGF-beta1 levels are induced by ADX, and whether apoptosis is increased by blocking the expression of TGF-beta1 with an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) administered intracerebrally in corticosterone depleted rats.


It was observed an increase of apoptosis in DG, 2 and 5 days after ADX, in agreement with a reduction of corticosterone levels. However, the effect of ADX on the number of apoptotic positive cells in DG was decreased 5 days after the lesion. In CA1-CA3 regions, the effect was only observed 2 days after ADX. TGF-beta1 mRNA levels were increased 2 days after ADX. The sustained intracerebro-ventricular administration of a TGF-beta1 ASO via an osmotic mini pump increased apoptosis levels in CA and DG regions 5 days after ADX as well as sham-operated control animals. No significant effect was observed following a scrambled-oligodeoxynucleotide treatment.


The changes in both the pattern and the magnitude of apoptotic-cell morphology observed 2 and 5 days after ADX suggest that, as a consequence of the reduction of corticosteroids, some trophic mechanisms restricting cell death to a particular time window are elicited. Sustained intracerebral administration of TGF-beta1 ASO increased the apoptosis promoted by ADX, suggesting that TGF-beta1 plays an anti-apoptotic role in vivo in hippocampus.

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