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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Jul 4;371(3):495-500. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.04.102. Epub 2008 Apr 28.

Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase by kainic acid mediates brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression through a NF-kappaB dependent mechanism in C6 glioma cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea.


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key regulator of energy homeostasis. Kainic acid (KA), a prototype excitotoxin is known to induce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in brain. In this study, we examined the role of AMPK in KA-induced BDNF expression in C6 glioma cells. We showed that KA and KA receptor agonist induced activation of AMPK and KA-induced AMPK activation was blocked by inhibition of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK) beta. We then showed that inhibition of AMPK by compound C, a selective inhibitor of AMPK, or small interfering RNA of AMPKalpha1 blocked KA-induced BDNF mRNA and protein expression. Inhibition of AMPK blocked KA-induced phosphorylation of CaMKII and I kappaB kinase (IKK) in C6 cells. Finally, we showed that inhibition of AMPK reduced DNA binding and transcriptional activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in KA-treated cells. These results suggest that AMPK mediates KA-induced BDNF expression by regulating NF-kappaB activation.

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