Imbalance of neurotrophin receptor isoforms TrkB-FL/TrkB-T1 induces neuronal death in excitotoxicity.

O G Vidaurre, S Gascon, Ruben Deogracias Pastor, M Sobrado, E Cuadrado, J Montaner, A Rodriguez-Pena, M Diaz-Guerra

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74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neuronal death in cerebral ischemia is required for the development of stroke therapies. Here we analyze the contribution of the tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) neurotrophin receptor to excitotoxicity, a primary pathological mechanism in ischemia, which is induced by overstimulation of glutamate receptors of the N-methyl-D-aspartate type. We demonstrate a significant modification of TrkB expression that is strongly associated with neurodegeneration in models of ischemia and in vitro excitotoxicity. Two mechanisms cooperate for TrkB dysregulation: (1) calpain-processing of full-length TrkB (TrkB-FL), high-affinity receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which produces a truncated protein lacking the tyrosine-kinase domain and strikingly similar to the inactive TrkB-T1 isoform and (2) reverse regulation of the mRNA of these isoforms. Collectively, excitotoxicity results in a decrease of TrkB-FL, the production of truncated TrkB-FL and the upregulation of TrkB-T1. A similar neuro-specific increase of the TrkB-T1 isoform is also observed in stroke patients. A lentivirus designed for both neuro-specific TrkB-T1 interference and increased TrkB-FL expression allows recovery of the TrkB-FL/TrkB-T1 balance and protects neurons from excitotoxic death. These data implicate a combination of TrkB-FL downregulation and TrkB-T1 upregulation as significant causes of neuronal death in excitotoxicity, and reveal novel targets for the design of stroke therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere256
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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