Signalling for survival and death in neurones: the role of stress-activated kinases, JNK and p38

Cell Signal. 2001 May;13(5):299-310. doi: 10.1016/s0898-6568(01)00148-6.


The pathways involved in neuronal survival or death have been extensively studied mainly in cell lines. Recent evidence has suggested that activation of the stress activated pathways, jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 may play important roles in neuronal cell death or regeneration. In this review we will discuss these pahtways in detail. We will examine the evidence that these pathways are important in neuronal cell death. Finally we will review the evidence that inhibitors of these pathways have a neuroprotective effect both in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death / physiology*
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Humans
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases*
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / physiology*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / enzymology
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases


  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases