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Neurosci Lett. 2000 Mar 17;282(1-2):41-4.

Neuroprotective effect of alpha-phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone in gerbil hippocampus is mediated by the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway and heat shock proteins.

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  • 1Laboratory of Radiation Biology, Department of Environmental Veterinary Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


alpha-Phenyl-N-tert-butylnitrone (PBN), a spin trap, is known as a protective agent against delayed-neuronal death after ischemia-reperfusion. To investigate this neuroprotective effect of PBN, we examined the effect of PBN on the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway and the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in the gerbil hippocampus following transient (5 min) ischemia. Immunoblot analysis revealed that intraperitoneal (i. p.) injection of PBN (200 mg/kg) enhanced the activation of extracellular-response kinase (ERK) and suppressed the activation of stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (SAPK/JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) at 6 h after ischemia. Elevated levels of HSP27 and HSP70 were seen at the same period. These data suggest that PBN protects against delayed-neuronal death not only by its inherent radical-trapping activity but also by regulating the MAPK pathway and up-regulating HSPs.

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