Tamoxifen neuroprotection in cerebral ischemia involves attenuation of kinase activation and superoxide production and potentiation of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase

Chandramohan G. Wakade, Mohammad M. Khan, Liesl M. De Sevilla, Quanguang Zhang, Virendra B. Mahesh, Darrell W Brann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of neuronal death after focal cerebral ischemia and the neuroprotective effects of tamoxifen (TMX). The phosphorylation state of 31 protein kinases/signaling proteins and superoxide anion (O2 -) production in the contralateral and ipsilateral cortex was measured after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) in ovariectomized rats treated with placebo or TMX. The study revealed that pMCAO modulated the phosphorylation of a number of kinases/proteins in the penumbra at 2 h after pMCAO. Of significant interest, phospho-ERK1/2 (pERK1/2) was elevated significantly after pMCAO. TMX attenuated the elevation of pERK1/2, an effect correlated with reduced infarct size. In situ detection of O2 - production showed a significant elevation at 1-2 h after pMCAO in the ischemic cortex with enhanced oxidative damage detected at 24 h. ERK activation may be downstream of free radicals, a suggestion supported by the findings that cells positive for O2- had high pERK activation and that a superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic, tempol, significantly attenuated pERK activation after MCAO. TMX treatment significantly reduced the MCAO-induced elevation of O2- production, oxidative damage, and proapoptotic caspase-3 activation. Additionally, pMCAO induced a significant reduction in the levels of manganese SOD (MnSOD), which scavenge O2-, an effect largely prevented by TMX treatment, thus providing a potential mechanistic basis for the antioxidant effects of TMX. As a whole, these studies suggest that TMX neuroprotection may be achieved via an antioxidant mechanism that involves enhancement of primarily MnSOD levels, with a corresponding reduction of O2- production, and downstream kinase and caspase-3 activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-379
Number of pages13
JournalEndocrinology
Volume149
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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