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Autophagy. 2007 Jan-Feb;3(1):42-4. Epub 2007 Jan 18.

The roles of autophagy in cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.


Recent studies indicate the existence of autophagy in cerebral ischemia, but the functions of autophagy in this setting remain unclear. Here we discuss the role of autophagy in cerebral ischemia based on our own publication and the literature on this subject. We propose that oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stresses n cerebral ischemia-hypoxia are potent stimuli of autophagy in neurons. We also reviewed evidence suggesting autophagosomes may have a shorter half-life in neurons and that a fraction of LC3 protein is degraded within autolysosomes, leading to a smaller detectable amount of LC3-II in the brain while there are clear indications of on-going autophagy. Finally, we suggest autophagy is an important modifier of cell death and survival, interacting with necrosis and apoptosis in determining the outcomes and final morphology of deceased neurons.

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