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Lab Invest. 1997 May;76(5):603-12.

Insulin-like growth factors prevent apoptosis in cortical neurons isolated from stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats.

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Department of Internal Medicine, SANRAKU Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Cerebral ischemia induces a massive efflux of glutamate causing delayed neuronal death in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) but not in Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY). It is obvious that L-N-nitroarginine (L-NNA; NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor), benzamide (poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase inhibitor), and growth factors are involved in reducing neuronal cell death due to toxic conditions, especially phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI3)-kinase activity; however, no studies have clarified whether genetic vulnerability to neurotoxic states is present in cortical neurons isolated from SHRSP. For this purpose, we prepared cortical neurons from WKY and SHRSP (15 weeks of gestation) to test the genetic vulnerability involved in the pathogenesis of stroke as well as apoptosis of cortical neurons isolated from SHRSP. We also examined the mechanisms necessary to reduce apoptosis under neurotoxic states using ultrastructural and biochemical techniques. Cortical neurons from SHRSP were in fact found to be more vulnerable than neurons from WKY and resulted in apoptosis when treated with nitric oxide (NO)- and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated neurotoxic agents. Growth factors, especially insulin-like growth factor (IGF), rescued neurons from NO- and NMDA-mediated neurotoxicity, particularly those from SHRSP. Conversely, benzamide and L-NNA reduced NMDA-mediated neurotoxicity but not NO-mediated toxicity. The ability to protect neurons from neurotoxicity was as follows: IGF-->nerve growth factor epidermal growth factor-->L-NNA-->benzamide. In addition, it was demonstrated that wortmannin, a PI3-kinase inhibitor, lessened the protective effects of these growth factors against NO-mediated toxicity. The data thus indicate that genetic factors related to neuronal vulnerability to apoptosis are involved in the pathogenesis of stroke lesions in SHRSP. PI3-kinase activity, which is stimulated by growth factors, is closely related to protective effects against NO- and NMDA-mediated toxicity in cortical neurons, especially those isolated from SHRSP. Moreover, the genetic vulnerability observed in SHRSP neurons is possibly linked to the inadequate activation of signaling pathways in the downstream of protein tyrosine kinases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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