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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2001 Oct;21(10):1189-98.

Apoptotic and antiapoptotic mechanisms after traumatic brain injury.

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Department of Physiology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33136, USA.


Caspase and inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) expression was examined in rats subjected to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) using a parasagittal fluid-percussion brain insult (1.7 to 2.2 atm). Within 1 hour after injury, caspase-8 and -9, two initiators of apoptosis, were predominantly expressed in superficial cortical areas adjacent to the impact site and in the thalamus. Caspase-3, an effector caspase, was evident at 6 hours throughout the traumatized cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Moreover, the authors observed that XIAP, cIAP-1, and cIAP-2, members of the IAP family, were constitutively expressed in the brain. Colocalization of XIAP-immunolabled cells with cell-specific markers indicated that XIAP is expressed within neurons and a subpopulation of oligodendrocytes. Immunoblots of brain extracts revealed that the processed forms of caspase-8, -9, and -3 are present as early as 1 hour after trauma. The appearance of activated caspases corresponded with the detection of cleavage of XIAP into fragments after injury and a concomitant increase in the levels of cIAP-1 and cIAP-2 in the traumatized hemispheres. The current data are consistent with the hypotheses that caspases in both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways are activated after moderate TBI and that IAPs may have a protective role within the brain with alterations in levels and cleavage of IAPs that contribute to cell death in this setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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