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J Neurochem. 2005 Sep;94(6):1473-87. Epub 2005 Jul 22.

Functions and pathophysiological roles of phospholipase D in the brain.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Amarillo, Texas 79106, USA.


Ten years after the isoforms of mammalian phospholipase D (PLD), PLD1 and 2, were cloned, their roles in the brain remain speculative but several lines of evidence now implicate these enzymes in basic cell functions such as vesicular trafficking as well as in brain development. Many mitogenic factors, including neurotransmitters and growth factors, activate PLD in neurons and astrocytes. Activation of PLD downstream of protein kinase C seems to be a required step for astroglial proliferation. The characteristic disruption of the PLD signaling pathway by ethanol probably contributes to the delay of brain growth in fetal alcohol syndrome. The post-natal increase of PLD activities concurs with synapto- and myelinogenesis in the brain and PLD is apparently involved in neurite formation. In the adult and aging brain, PLD activity has antiapoptotic properties suppressing ceramide formation. Increased PLD activities in acute and chronic neurodegeneration as well as in inflammatory processes are evidently due to astrogliosis and may be associated with protective responses of tissue repair and remodeling. ARF-regulated PLD participates in receptor endocytosis as well as in exocytosis of neurotransmitters where PLD seems to favor vesicle fusion by modifications of the shape and charge of lipid membranes. Finally, PLD activities contribute free choline for the synthesis of acetylcholine in the brain. Novel tools such as RNA interference should help to further elucidate the roles of PLD isoforms in brain physiology and pathology.

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