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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2001 Dec;21(12):1442-50.

Evidence of phosphorylation of Akt and neuronal survival after transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice.

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1
Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5487, USA.

Abstract

The serine-threonine kinase, Akt, prevents apoptosis by phosphorylation at serine-473 in several cell systems. After phosphorylation, activated Akt inactivates other apoptogenic factors, such as Bad or caspase-9, thereby inhibiting cell death. The present study examined phosphorylation of Akt at serine-473 and DNA fragmentation after transient focal cerebral ischemia in mice subjected to 60 minutes of focal cerebral ischemia by intraluminal blockade of the middle cerebral artery. Phospho-Akt was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. The DNA fragmentation was evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated uridine 5-triphosphate-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL). Immunohistochemistry showed the expression of phospho-Akt was markedly increased in the middle cerebral artery territory cortex at 4 hours of reperfusion compared with the control, whereas it was decreased by 24 hours. Western blot analysis showed a significant increase of phospho-Akt 4 hours after focal cerebral ischemia in the cortex, whereas phospho-Akt was decreased in the ischemic core. Double staining with phospho-Akt and TUNEL showed different cellular distributions of phospho-Akt and TUNEL-positive staining. Phosphorylation of Akt was prevented after focal cerebral ischemia by LY294002, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, which facilitated subsequent DNA fragmentation. These results suggest that phosphorylation of Akt may be involved in determining cell survival or cell death after transient focal cerebral ischemia.

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