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Brain Pathol. 1996 Oct;6(4):397-409.

Neuronal death in developmental models: possible implications in neuropathology.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis MO 63110, USA.


Extensive neuronal death occurs in the developing nervous system. Death of neurons during this process is apoptotic and appears to utilize a pathway that is conserved in various mammalian cells and organisms. Recent evidence suggests that neuronal death during trauma, stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases may also occur by a similar mechanism. This review discusses the molecular mechanism of developmental neuronal death by examining the biochemical and molecular events associated with neuronal death after trophic factor withdrawal. The ability to inhibit neuronal death by manipulating the Bcl-2 or the ICE-family proteins demonstrates the importance of these proteins in the neuronal apoptotic pathway. The utility of inhibiting neuronal death by blocking the apoptotic pathway as therapy in neuropathological situations is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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