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Mol Neurobiol. 2001 Feb;23(1):1-19.

Mitogen-activated protein kinases and cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.


Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) have crucial roles in signal transduction from the cell surface to the nucleus and regulate cell death and survival. Recent papers support the hypothesis that neuronal apoptosis and cerebral ischemia induce the robust activation of MAPK cascades. Although extracellular signal-regulated kinases pathways promote cell survival and proliferation, and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinases/p38 pathways induce apoptosis in general, the roles of MAPK cascades in neuronal death and survival seem to be complicated and altered by the type of cells and the magnitude and timing of insults. Some specific inhibitors of MAPK cascades provide important information in clarifying the roles of each molecule in neuronal death and survival, but the results are still controversial. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the activated signal transduction upstream and downstream of the cascades in cerebral ischemia, and to define the crosstalk between the cascades and other signaling pathways, before MAPK cascades can be candidate molecules in the treatment of cerebral ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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