Apoptosis and necrosis occur in separate neuronal populations in hippocampus and cerebellum after ischemia and are associated with differential alterations in metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling pathways

Lee J Martin, Frederick Sieber, Richard J. Traystman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It was evaluated whether postischemic neurodegeneration is apoptosis and occurs with alterations in phosphoinositide-linked metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and their associated signaling pathways. A dog model of transient global incomplete cerebral ischemia was used. The CA1 pyramidal cells and cerebellar Purkinje cells underwent progressive delayed degeneration. By in situ end-labeling of DNA, death of CA1 and Purkinje cells was greater at 7 days than 1 day after ischemia, whereas death of granule neurons in dentate gyms and cerebellar cortex was greater at 1 than at 7 days. Ultrastructurally, degenerating CA1 pyramidal neurons and cerebellar Purkinje cells were necrotic; in contrast, degenerating granule neurons were apoptotic. In agarose gels of regional DNA extracts, random DNA fragmentation coexisted with internucleosomal fragmentation. By immunoblotting of regional homogenates, mGluR1α, mGluR5, phospholipase Cβ (PLCβ), and Gα(q/11) protein levels in hippocampus at 1 and 7 days after ischemia were similar to control levels, but in cerebellar cortex, mGluR1α and mGluR5 were decreased but PLCβ was increased. By immunocytochemistry, mGluR and PLCβ immunoreactivity dissipated in CA I and cerebellar Purkinje cell/molecular layers, whereas immunoreactivities for these proteins were enhanced in granule neurons. It was concluded that neuronal death after global ischemia exists as two distinct, temporally overlapping forms in hippocampus and cerebellum: necrosis of pyramidal neurons and Purkinje cells and apoptosis of granule neurons. Neuronal necrosis is associated with a loss of phosphoinositide-linked mGluR transduction proteins, whereas neuronal apoptosis occurs with increased mGluR signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000



  • Bax
  • Excitotoxicity
  • Glutamate receptors
  • Granule neuron
  • Phospholipase C
  • Programmed cell death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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