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Hypoxia induces caspase-9 and caspase-3 activation without neuronal death in gerbil brains.

By Philippe Garnier, Anne Prigent-Tessier, Michaël Van Hoecke, Nathalie Bertrand, Céline Demougeot, Olivier Sordet, Raymond A Swanson, Christine Marie and Alain Beley


International audienceTo investigate the in vivo apoptotic machinery in oxygen deprived brain, we examined the expression of caspase-9 and caspase-3 in the hippocampus of Mongolian gerbils subjected to either transient hypoxia (4% O2 for 6 min) or forebrain ischemia (10 min bilateral carotid artery occlusion) followed by 8 h to 7 days of reoxygenation or blood recirculation. Apoptotic death was characterized by isolating hippocampal genomic DNA and analysing DNA fragmentation as well as histological studies including TUNEL assay and toluidine blue staining of brain sections. The results showed that both hypoxic and ischemic gerbil brains exhibited an increase in caspase-9 and caspase-3 gene expression. However, no cell damage was detectable following hypoxia, while marked DNA fragmentation and extensive cell death was observed following ischemia. Moreover, although hypoxia did not lead to cell death, both hypoxia and ischemia were associated with cleavage of procaspase-9 and procaspase-3 and increases in their activities as well as cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1), a major caspase-3 substrate. These results indicate that, in vivo, even late apoptotic events such as caspase activation and PARP-1 cleavage in hypoxic brains do not necessarily induce an irreversible commitment to apoptotic neuronal death

Topics: MESH: Animals, MESH: Brain, MESH: Caspase 3, MESH: Caspase 9, MESH: Caspases, MESH: Cell Death, MESH: Enzyme Activation, MESH: Gerbillinae, MESH: Hypoxia, Brain, MESH: Neurons, [SDV.SP]Life Sciences [q-bio]/Pharmaceutical sciences
Publisher: 'Wiley'
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2004.03551.x
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-00499522v1
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