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Bcl-2 improves survival of lesioned cholinergic neurons.

Lee KY, Leos R, Borowski TB, de Lacalle S (2001) Bcl-2 improves survival of lesioned cholinergic neurons. Neuroscience 2001 Abstracts 803.6. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Summary: Alzheimer’s disease is associated with the progressive cell death of cholinergic neurons in the central nervous system (CNS). A current challenge is to develop therapeutic approaches that could prevent atrophy and loss of CNS neurons, and promote regeneration of their processes. The purpose of our study is to determine the therapeutic potential of the antiapoptotic gene B-cell lymphoma 2 (bcl-2) on the cholinergic system of the basal forebrain (BF). Retrograde degeneration in the BF of 3-month-old rats was induced by unilateral injection of the immunotoxin 192 IgG-saporin into the entorhinal cortex. Fifteen minutes later, an injection of 5 µg of the pa22bgala4bcl-2 plasmid was placed into the BF. Similar procedures were followed for BF injections of a control plasmid or vehicle alone. We found that a single injection of bcl-2 plasmid into the BF of the lesioned side increased survival of cholinergic neurons ~50%, as compared to vehicle controls. In addition, cell survival was close to 100% of intact side with bcl-2 injections, compared to a 50% cell loss in animals injected with a control DNA. Our results indicate that an injection of the bcl-2 gene into the BF prevents loss of cholinergic neurons that have been injured by IgG-saporin. Mechanisms by which bcl-2 may protect cholinergic neurons could include retrograde transport of the plasmid to the nucleus and subsequent neuroprotective effects of increased levels of bcl-2 protein. Our results, in conjunction with other studies, suggest that neurodegeneration might be amenable to gene therapy.

Related Products: 192-IgG-SAP (Cat. #IT-01)

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