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J Neurosci Res. 2004 May 15;76(4):466-74.

Rescue of TNFalpha-inhibited neuronal cells by IGF-1 involves Akt and c-Jun N-terminal kinases.

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National Institute Of Immunology, New Delhi, India.


Proinflammatory cytokines, especially tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), is a pleiotropic mediator of a diverse array of physiologic and neurologic functions and is upregulated during various inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. A common survival response during such situations is the increased expression of the hormone insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Although it was thought previously that the mechanisms of TNFalpha and IGF-1 action were unrelated, it has been shown that low doses of TNFalpha can inhibit the survival effects of IGF-1 in mouse cerebellar granule neurons. We used a neuronal cell line SH-SY5Y, which underwent apoptosis in response to TNFalpha and this process could be reversed substantially by IGF-1. Crosstalk between signaling pathways of these two factors was found at various points downstream of their signal transduction. To determine the mechanisms of IGF-1-mediated rescue, we looked at the MAP kinases, which are known to be involved in IGF-1 as well as TNFalpha signaling. The c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway, which is known normally to promote cell death, was found to actually promote survival of TNFalpha-mediated cell death. Inhibiting the c-Jun survival pathway completely reversed the rescue mediated by IGF-1. In addition, the Akt pathway played an equally important role in this rescue.

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