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Brain Res. 2009 Feb 23;1256:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2008.11.053. Epub 2008 Nov 27.

Convergence of alpha 7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-activated pathways for anti-apoptosis and anti-inflammation: central role for JAK2 activation of STAT3 and NF-kappaB.

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Vascular Biology Center, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, USA.


Our laboratories have previously identified the alpha7 nAChR-JAK2 pathway as playing a central role in nicotine-induced neuroprotection. We have also reported that the angiotensin II (Ang II) AT(2) receptor induced activation of SHP-1 induces the tyrosine dephosphorylation of JAK2 that results in a complete neutralization of the alpha7 nAChR-JAK2 pro-survival cascade. In this study, we investigated the effects of inhibiting the alpha7 nAChR-JAK2 pro-survival cascade on the nicotine-induced production of the survival factor Bcl-2 and the transcriptional activation of NF-kappaB, AP-1, STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5. We report that nicotine induced the production of Bcl-2 and increased the transcriptional activation of NF-kappaB, AP-1, STAT1, and STAT3, and with the exception of AP-1, the other transcription factors (NF-kappaB, STAT1, and STAT3) were significantly reduced by JAK2 inhibition. We also demonstrate that, via transfection of either Bcl-2 antisense or NF-kappaB, STAT1 and STAT3 transcription factor decoys oligodeoxyribonucleotides into PC12 cells, nicotine induces its neuroprotection in PC12 cells via activation of the alpha7 nAChR-JAK2-(NF-kappaB; STAT3)-Bcl-2 pro-survival pathway. Finally, the neuroprotective nicotine-induced production of Bcl-2 appears to fully counteract the Abeta (1-42)-induced apoptosis of PC12 cells by blocking Abeta (1-42)-induced mitochondrial release of cytosolic cytochrome C.

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