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Neuroscience. 2008 Jan 2;151(1):111-9. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

Involvement of endoplasmic reticulum stress in the neuronal death induced by transient forebrain ischemia in gerbil.

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  • 1Department of Biofunctional Evaluation, Molecular Pharmacology, Gifu Pharmaceutical University, Gifu 502-8585, Japan.


Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, which is caused by an accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER lumen, is associated with stroke and with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer diseases. We assessed the expression patterns of immunoglobulin heavy chain binding protein (BiP)/glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78 (an ER-resident molecular chaperone whose expression serves as a good marker of ER-stress), activating transcription factor (ATF)-4, and C/EBP homology protein (CHOP) by immunohistochemistry and/or Western blotting after transient forebrain ischemia in gerbils. Double-fluorescent staining involving CHOP immunohistochemistry and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated DNA nick-end labeling (TUNEL) method was performed to clarify the involvement of CHOP in cell death. Immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses of the hippocampal Cornet d'Ammon (CA)1 subfield showed that BiP expression was increased at 12 h, peaked at 3 days, then decreased (versus the control group). A transient increase was detected in CA3 at 1 day after ischemia, but BiP expression was unchanged in dentate gyrus and cortex. Signals for ATF-4 and CHOP were increased at 1 day and 3 days in CA1, and at 12 h in CA3. Co-localization of CHOP immunoreactivity and DNA fragmentation was detected by the TUNEL method at 3 days after ischemia in CA1, but not at 12 h in CA3. These findings are consistent with ER stress playing a pivotal role in post-ischemic neuronal death in the gerbil hippocampal CA1 subfield.

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