Transient global ischemia triggers expression of the DNA damage- inducible gene GADD45 in the rat brain

Jun Chen, Koichi Uchimura, R. Anne Stetler, Raymond L. Zhu, Masaki Nakayama, Kunlin Jin, Steven H. Graham, Roger P. Simon

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Using in situ hybridization, Northern blot analysis, Western blot analysis, and immunocytochemistry, mRNA and protein expression of the novel DNA damage-inducible gene GADD45 was examined in the rat brain at 0.5, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24, 48, and 72 hours after 15 minutes of transient global ischemia. Transient ischemia produced by the four-vessel occlusion method resulted in DNA double-strand breaks and delayed neuronal cell death in vulnerable neurons of the hippocampal CA1 sector, the hilus, dorsal caudate-putamen, and thalamus, as shown by in situ DNA nick end-labeling and histologic staining. GADD45 mRNA was transiently increased in less-vulnerable regions such as the parietal cortex (up to 8 hours after ischemia) and dentate granule cells (up to 24 hours after ischemia) but was persistently increased in vulnerable neurons such as CA1 pyramidal neurons (up to 48 hours). GADD45 immunoreactivity was increased in both vulnerable and less-vulnerable regions at earlier reperfusion periods (4 to 16 hours), but thereafter immunoreactivity was decreased below control levels in most vulnerable regions before delayed cell death and DNA double-strand breaks. At 72 hours after transient ischemia, a moderate increase in GADD45 immunoreactivity was still detectable in some CA3 neurons and in a few surviving neurons in the CA1 region. Double staining performed at 16 to 72 hours after ischemia revealed that GADD45 immunoreactivity was persistently increased in neurons that did not develop DNA damage. Because GADD45 protein may participate in the DNA excision repair process and because it has been shown that this protein is also overexpressed in neurons that survive focal ischemia and kainate-induced epileptic seizures, the results reported here support the hypothesis that GADD45 could have a protective role in neuronal injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-657
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1998


  • Apoptosis
  • Cerebral ischemia
  • DNA damage
  • DNA repair
  • Gene expression


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