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Role of mTORC1 controlling proteostasis after brain ischemia

AuthorsPérez-Álvarez, María José ; González, Mario; Benito-Cuesta, Irene; Wandosell, Francisco G.
Glia stress response
Neuronal stress response
Issue Date15-Feb-2018
CitationFrontiers in Neuroscience 12 (2018)
AbstractIntense efforts are being undertaken to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms triggered after brain ischemia and to develop effective pharmacological treatments. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are complex and not completely understood. One of the main problems is the fact that the ischemic damage is time-dependent and ranges from negligible to massive, involving different cell types such as neurons, astrocytes, microglia, endothelial cells, and some blood-derived cells (neutrophils, lymphocytes, etc.). Thus, approaching such a complicated cellular response generates a more complex combination of molecular mechanisms, in which cell death, cellular damage, stress and repair are intermixed. For this reason, animal and cellular model systems are needed in order to dissect and clarify which molecular mechanisms have to be promoted and/or blocked. Brain ischemia may be analyzed from two different perspectives: that of oxygen deprivation (hypoxic damage per se) and that of deprivation of glucose/serum factors. For investigations of ischemic stroke, middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) is the preferred in vivo model, and uses two different approaches: transient (tMCAO), where reperfusion is permitted; or permanent (pMCAO). As a complement to this model, many laboratories expose different primary cortical neuron or neuronal cell lines to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). This ex vivo model permits the analysis of the impact of hypoxic damage and the specific response of different cell types implicated in vivo, such as neurons, glia or endothelial cells. Using in vivo and neuronal OGD models, it was recently established that mTORC1 (mammalian Target of Rapamycin Complex-1), a protein complex downstream of PI3K-Akt pathway, is one of the players deregulated after ischemia and OGD. In addition, neuroprotective intervention either by estradiol or by specific AT2R agonists shows an important regulatory role for the mTORC1 activity, for instance regulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels. This evidence highlights the importance of understanding the role of mTORC1 in neuronal death/survival processes, as it could be a potential therapeutic target. This review summarizes the state-of-the-art of the complex kinase mTORC1 focusing in upstream and downstream pathways, their role in central nervous system and their relationship with autophagy, apoptosis and neuroprotection/neurodegeneration after ischemia/hypoxia.
Identifiersdoi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00060
issn: 1662-453X
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