Phencyclidine is an N-methyl d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) blocker that has been reported to induce neuronal apoptosis during development and schizophrenia-like behaviors in rats later in life. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been shown to prevent neuronal death caused by NMDAR blockade, but the precise mechanism is unknown. This study examined the role of the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways in BDNF protection of PCP-induced apoptosis in corticostriatal organotypic cultures. It was observed that BDNF inhibited PCP-induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent fashion. BDNF effectively prevented PCP-induced inhibition of the ERK and PI-3K/Akt pathways and suppressed GSK-3β activation. Blockade of either PI-3K/Akt or ERK activation abolished BDNF protection. Western blot analysis revealed that the PI-3K inhibitor LY294002 prevented the stimulating effect of BDNF on the PI-3K/Akt pathway, but had no effect on the ERK pathway. Similarly, the ERK inhibitor PD98059 prevented the stimulating effect of BDNF on the ERK pathway, but not the PI-3K/Akt pathway. Co-application of LY294002 and PD98059 had no additional effect on BDNF-evoked activation of Akt or ERK. However, concurrent exposure to PD98059 and LY294002 caused much greater inhibition of BDNF-evoked phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9 than did LY294002 alone. Finally, either BDNF or GSK-3β inhibition prevented PCP-induced suppression of cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation. These data demonstrate that the protective effect of BDNF against PCP-induced apoptosis is mediated by parallel activation of the PI-3K/Akt and ERK pathways, most likely involves inhibition of GSK-3β and activation of CREB.
- (Glycogen synthase kinase 3 β)
- BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor)
- ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase)
- PCP (phencyclidine)
- PI-3K (phosphoinositide-3 kinase)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience