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Neuroscience. 2003;117(3):557-65.

In vitro hypoxia and excitotoxicity in human brain induce calcineurin-Bcl-2 interactions.

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Department of Pharmacology, H078, 500 University Drive, Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


Although pathogenesis of neuronal ischemia is incompletely understood, evidence indicates apoptotic neuronal death after ischemia. Bcl-2, an anti-apoptotic and neuroprotective protein, interacts with calcineurin in non-neuronal tissues. Activation of calcineurin, which is abundant in the brain, may play a role in apoptosis. Using co-immunoprecipitation experiments in biopsy-derived, fresh human cortical and hippocampal slices, we examined possible interactions between calcineurin and Bcl-2. Calcineuin-Bcl-2 interactions increased after exposure in vitro to excitotoxic agents and conditions of hypoxia/aglycia. This interaction may shuttle calcineurin to substrates such as the inositol-1,4,5-tris-phosphate receptor because under these experimental conditions interactions between calcineurin and inositol-1,4,5-tris-phosphate receptor also increased. A specific calcineurin inhibitor, FK-520, attenuated insult-induced increases in calcineurin-Bcl-2 interactions and augmented caspase-3 like activity. These data suggest that Bcl-2 modulates neuroprotective effects of calcineurin and that calcineurin inhibitors increase ischemic neuronal damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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