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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2001 Aug;21(8):914-20.

Oxidative stress-dependent release of mitochondrial cytochrome c after traumatic brain injury.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5487, USA.


Mitochondrial cytochrome c translocation to the cytosol initiates the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway. This event has not been previously reported in traumatic brain injury (TBI). The authors determined the expression of cytochrome c in cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions after severe TBI produced by the controlled cortical impact model in the mouse. One hour after trauma there was an increase in cytosolic cytochrome c immunoreactivity. The increases in cytosolic cytochrome c preceded DNA fragmentation, which started at 4 hours. Western blots of mitochondrial and cytosolic fractions confirmed that there was a translocation of cytochrome c from the mitochondria after TBI. Mice deficient in manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) showed an increased loss of mitochondrial cytochrome c after trauma, but less apoptotic cell death 4 and 24 hours after injury compared with wild-type control mice. However, the overall cell death was increased in MnSOD mice, as illustrated by a larger cortical lesion in these animals. The results show that cytochrome c is released from the mitochondria after severe TBI partly by a free radical-dependent mechanism, and that massive mitochondrial cytochrome c release is a predictor of necrotic cell death rather than apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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