Substance P provides neuroprotection in cerebellar granule cells through Akt and MAPK/Erk activation: Evidence for the involvement of the delayed rectifier potassium current

G. Amadoro, M. Pieri, M. T. Ciotti, I. Carunchio, N. Canu, P. Calissano, C. Zona, C. Severini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the current study, we have evaluated the ability of substance P (SP) and other neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1) agonists to protect, in a dose- and time-dependent manner, primary cultures of rat cerebellar granule cells (CGCs) from serum and potassium deprivation-induced cell death (S-K5). We also established the presence of SP high affinity NK1 transcripts and the NK1 protein localization in the membrane of a sub-population of CGCs. Moreover, SP significantly and dose-dependently reduced the Akt 1/2 and Erk1/2 dephosphorylation induced by S-K5 conditions, as demonstrated by Western blot analysis. Surprisingly, in SP-treated CGCs caspase-3 activity was not inhibited, while the calpain-1 activity was moderately reduced. Corroborating this result, SP blocked calpain-mediated cleavage of tau protein, as demonstrated by the reduced appearance of a diagnostic fragment of 17 kDa by Western blot analysis. In addition, SP induced a significant reduction of the delayed rectifier K+ currents (Ik) in about 42% of the patched neurons, when these were evoked with depolarizing potential steps. Taken together, the present results demonstrate that the activation of NK1 receptors expressed in CGCs promote the neuronal survival via pathways involving Akt and Erk activation and by inhibition of Ik which can contribute to the neuroprotective effect of the peptide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1377
Number of pages12
JournalNeuropharmacology
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2007

Keywords

  • Cerebellar granule cells
  • Neuroprotection
  • Substance P
  • Tachykinin receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

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