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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Nov 12;99(23):15188-93. Epub 2002 Nov 1.

Caspase activation and neuroprotection in caspase-3- deficient mice after in vivo cerebral ischemia and in vitro oxygen glucose deprivation.

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1
Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation Laboratory, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Abstract

Caspase-3 is a major cell death effector protease in the adult and neonatal nervous system. We found a greater number and higher density of cells in the cortex of caspase-3(-/-) adult mice, consistent with a defect in developmental cell death. Caspase-3(-/-) mice were also more resistant to ischemic stress both in vivo and in vitro. After 2 h of ischemia and 48 h of reperfusion, cortical infarct volume was reduced by 55%, and the density of terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling-positive cells was decreased by 36% compared with wild type. When subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation (2 h), cortical neurons cultured from mice deficient in caspase-3 expression were also more resistant to cell death by 59%. Mutant brains showed caspase-specific poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage product (85-kDa fragment) in vivo and in vitro, suggesting redundant mechanisms and persistence of caspase-mediated cell death. In the present study, we found that caspase-8 mediated poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage in caspase-3(-/-) neurons in vivo and in vitro. In addition, mutant neurons showed no evidence of compensatory activation by caspase-6 or caspase-7 after ischemia. Taken together, these data extend the pharmacological evidence supporting an important role for caspase-3 and caspase-8 as cell death mediators in mammalian cortex and indicate the potential advantages of targeting more than a single caspase family member to treat ischemic cell injury.

PMID:
12415117
PMCID:
PMC137565
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.232473399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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