While there is growing evidence that Bcl-2 proto-oncogene and β-amyloid precursor proteins (APP) are neuroprotective in function, our recent studies have demonstrated that Bcl-2 and APP may be co-expressed and co-regulated in retinal neurons or glia under normal or experimental conditions. Whether Bcl-2 and APP are functionally coupled in other neuronal systems is not clear. This issue was investigated further in the present experiments by examining the expression pattern of two molecules after unilateral intrastriatal injection of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP+), a neurotoxic metabolite that selectively damages dopaminergic neurons. One hour to 2 months after MPP+ injection into rat striatum, a significant increase in Bcl-2 expression was observed in distinct populations of neurons, astrocyte-like and OX-42-positive cells not only in traumatic regions but also in remote areas including the ipsilateral cortex and substantia nigra (SN). No detectable change was observed in the striatum, cortex or SN on the contralateral side of the brain. The immunoreactive pattern and time-dependent APP increase was similar to that of Bcl-2 in the severely injured striatum and cortex. However, an up-regulation of Bcl-2 expression, but not APP, appears in dopaminergic neurons in the ipsilateral SN pars compacta where there was retrograde degeneration. In contrast, APP immunoreactivity was decreased in the hippocampus following intrastriatal injury, whereas, no alteration in Bcl-2 expression was detected. The differential changes in Bcl-2 and APP expression in nigral neurons and some other brain tissues suggest that these proteins may not be co-regulated by a common mechanism, at least in certain neuronal pathways.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology