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Neuroscience. 1999;94(4):1213-8.

Reduction of post-traumatic brain injury and free radical production by inhibition of the caspase-1 cascade.

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Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown 02129, USA.


Necrotic and apoptotic cell death both play a role mediating tissue injury following brain trauma. Caspase-1 (interleukin-1beta converting enzyme) is activated and oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation is detected in traumatized brain tissue. Reduction of tissue injury and free radical production following brain trauma was achieved in a transgenic mouse expressing a dominant negative inhibitor of caspase-1 in the brain. Neuroprotection was also conferred by pharmacological inhibition of caspase-1 by intracerebroventricular administration of the selective inhibitor of caspase-1, acetyl-Tyr-Val-Ala-Asp-chloromethyl-ketone or the non-selective caspase inhibitor N-benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone. These results indicate that inhibition of caspase-1-like caspases reduces trauma-mediated brain tissue injury. In addition, we demonstrate an in vivo functional interaction between interleukin-1beta converting enyzme-like caspases and free radical production pathways, implicating free radical production as a downstream mediator of the caspase cell death cascade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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