Cathepsin B-dependent motor neuron death after nerve injury in the adult mouse

Li Sun, Zhou Wu, Masashi Baba, Christoph Peters, Yasuo Uchiyama, Hiroshi Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There are significant differences in the rate of neuronal death after peripheral nerve injury between species. The rate of neuronal death of motor neurons after nerve injury in the adult rats is very low, whereas that in adult mice is relatively high. However, the understanding of the mechanism underlying axotomy-induced motor neuron death in adult mice is limited. Cathepsin B (CB), a typical cysteine lysosomal protease, has been implicated in three major morphologically distinct pathways of cell death; apoptosis, necrosis and autophagic cell death. The possible involvement of CB in the neuronal death of hypogrossal nucleus (HGN) neurons after nerve injury in adult mice was thus examined. Quantitative analyses showed the mean survival ratio of HGN neurons in CB-deficient (CB-/-) adult mice after nerve injury was significantly greater than that in the wild-type mice. At the same time, proliferation of microglia in the injured side of the HGN of CB-/- adult mice was markedly reduced compared with that in the wild-type mice. On the injured side of the HGN in the wild-type adult mice, both pro- and mature forms of CB markedly increased in accordance with the increase in the membrane-bound form of LC3 (LC3-II), a marker protein of autophagy. Furthermore, the increase in CB preceded an increase in the expression of Noxa, a major executor for axotomy-induced motor neuron death in the adult mouse. Conversely, expression of neither Noxa or LC3-II was observed in the HGN of adult CB-/- mice after nerve injury. These observations strongly suggest that CB plays a critical role in axotomy-induced mortor neuron death in adult mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume399
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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