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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2003 Oct;23(4-5):539-50.

Transforming growth factor-beta and ischemic brain injury.

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Université de CAEN, UMR CNRS 6551, IFR 47, Feder, Centre CYCERON, bd H. Becquerel, Caen, France.


1. Necrosis and apoptosis are the two fundamental hallmarks of neuronal death in stroke. Nevertheless, thrombolysis, by using the recombinant serine protease t-PA, remains until now the only approved treatment of stroke in man. 2. Over the last years, the cytokine termed Transforming Growth Factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) has been found to be strongly up-regulated in the central nervous system following ischemia-induced brain damage. 3. Recent studies have shown a neuroprotective activity of TGF-beta1 against ischemia-induced neuronal death. In vitro, TGF-beta1 protects neurons against excitotoxicity by inhibiting the t-PA-potentiated NMDA-induced neuronal death through a mechanism involving the up-regulation of the type-1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) in astrocytes 4. In addition, TGF-beta1 has been recently characterized as an antiapoptotic factor in a model of staurosporine-induced neuronal death through a mechanism involving activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (Erk1/2) and a concomitant increase phosphorylation of the antiapoptotic protein Bad. 5. Altogether, these observations suggest that either TGF-beta signaling or TGF-beta1-modulated genes could be good targets for the development of new therapeutic strategies for stroke in man.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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