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Neuroreport. 1998 Jul 13;9(10):R49-55.

Apoptosis in neuronal cells: role of caspases.

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Institute of Environmental Medicine, Division of Toxicology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Apoptosis is a controlled form of cell death involving cascades of degradative events. Proteolysis during apoptosis is largely due to the activity of a family of cysteine proteases called caspases. In recent years different roles for members of this family have been revealed. In the central nervous system caspase-2 is highly expressed in the brain during development although many caspases are expressed at low levels in the adult. However, an involvement of caspases in apoptosis of mature neurons has been demonstrated in vivo, where specific inhibitors of caspases are found to protect against ischemic injury. We have reviewed the evidence for the existence of caspases in the central nervous system and their activation during neuronal cell death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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