Application of proteasomal inhibitors to mouse sympathetic neurons activates the intrinsic apoptotic pathway

Journal of Neurochemistry
Isabelle Lang-RollinLeonidas Stefanis


Proteasomal dysfunction may play a role in a number of neurodegenerative conditions, and in particular Parkinson's disease (PD) and related Lewy body (LB) diseases. Application of proteasomal inhibitors to neuronal cell culture systems is associated with survival-promoting effects or with cell death depending on the model system. We have applied pharmacological proteasomal inhibitors to cultured neonatal mouse sympathetic neurons in order to investigate whether these catecholaminergic neurons, which are affected in PD, are sensitive to proteasomal inhibition and, if so, which cell death pathway is activated. We report here that proteasomal inhibition leads to apoptotic death of mouse sympathetic neurons. This death is accompanied by caspase 3 activation and cytochrome c release from the mitochondria and is abrogated by caspase inhibition. Bax deletion prevented both cytochrome c release and caspase 3 activation, and also provided complete protection against proteasomal inhibition-induced death. Bcl-2 overexpression achieved a similar survival-promoting effect. There was no change in Bax levels following proteasomal inhibition, suggesting that Bax itself is not regulated by the proteasome in this cell culture system, and that a ...Continue Reading


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