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Neurosci Lett. 1998 Aug 14;252(2):119-22.

Induction of plasminogen in rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons by kainic acid.

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Department of Neurobiology, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Yamashina, Japan.


Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is used to treat acute stroke, but tPA- and plasminogen-gene-deficient mice exhibit resistance to neurodegeneration. Thus, it is unclear whether the tPA-plasminogen system, an extracellular proteolytic cascade plays a helpful or harmful role, and whether plasminogen is induced by neurodegeneration. In the CA3, kainic acid (KA)-injection caused neuronal damage after 6 h, and almost all of the neurons were lost after 7 days. Plasminogen mRNA was strongly induced 6 h after injection, then gradually decreased, and was very weak at 2 days after injection. Plasminogen protein was expressed after 6 h and localized in abnormally shaped neurons. The in vivo expression of plasminogen was synchronous with morphological changes in neurons. These results suggest that the expression of plasminogen induced by KA-injection may disrupt of neuron-extracellular matrix interaction and thereby contribute to cell death in neurons in the hippocampus.

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