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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Oct 30;407(3):214-8. Epub 2006 Sep 14.

Extracellular signal-regulated kinases are not involved in activity-dependent survival or apoptosis in cerebellar granule neurons.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Zhongshan Medical College, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.


Cerebellar granule neurons (CGNs) depend on potassium depolarization for survival and undergo apoptosis when deprived of depolarizing concentration of potassium. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) are thought to be activated in response to potassium depolarization and responsible for the activity-dependent survival in CGNs, but one recent study has revealed that ERK1/2 is activated by potassium deprivation and is required for apoptosis of CGNs. In this study we showed that ERK1/2 was inactivated, rather than activated, by potassium deprivation, indicating a lack of ERK1/2 involvement in potassium deprivation-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, suppression of potassium depolarization-induced activation of ERK1/2 with chemical inhibitor U0126 or PD98059 had no influence on the pro-survival effect of potassium depolarisation. Thus, ERK1/2 was not required for potassium depolarization-dependent survival of CGNs. Taken together, our findings suggest that ERK1/2 is not involved in activity-dependent survival or apoptosis of CGNs.

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