Retinoic acids (RAs), including all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cis RA), play fundamental roles in a variety of physiological events in vertebrates, through their specific nuclear receptors: retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and retinoid X receptor (RXR). Despite the physiological importance of RA, their functional significance under pathological conditions is not well understood. We examined the effect of ATRA on oxygen/glucose-deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/Rep)-induced neuronal damage in cultured rat hippocampal slices, and found that ATRA significantly reduced neuronal death. The cytoprotective effect of ATRA was observed not only in cornu ammonis (CA) 1 but also in CA2 and dentate gyrus (DG), and was attenuated by selective antagonists for RAR or RXR. By contrast, in the CA3 region, no protective effects of ATRA were observed. The OGD/Rep also increased phosphorylated forms of c-jun-N-terminal kinase (P-JNK) and p38 (P-p38) in hippocampus, and specific inhibitors for these kinases protected neurons. ATRA prevented the increases in P-JNK and P-p38 after OGD/Rep, as well as the decrease in NeuN and its shrinkage, all of which were inhibited by antagonists for RAR or RXR. These findings suggest that the ATRA signaling via retinoid receptors results in the inhibition of JNK and p38 activation, leading to the protection of neurons against OGD/Rep-induced damage in the rat hippocampus.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 15 2007|
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