Semax and Pro-Gly-Pro activate the transcription of neurotrophins and their receptor genes after cerebral ischemia

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2010 Jan;30(1):71-9. doi: 10.1007/s10571-009-9432-0. Epub 2009 Jul 25.


Consisting of a fragment of ACTH(4-7) and C-terminal PGP tripeptide, the polypeptide Semax is successfully used for acute stroke therapy. Previous experiments showed rapid induction of Bdnf, Ngf, and TrkB expression in intact rat hippocampus following Semax treatment. To investigate the mRNA expression of neurotrophins and their receptors after treatment with either Semax or PGP, the rat brains were analyzed at three time points following a permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO). We have shown for the first time that both Semax and PGP activate the transcription of neurotrophins and their receptors in the cortex of rats subjected to pMCAO. The profiles of transcription alteration under PGP and Semax treatment were partially overlapped. Semax enhanced the transcription of Bdnf, TrkC, and TrkA 3 h after occlusion, Nt-3 and Ngf 24 h after occlusion, and Ngf 72 h after occlusion. PGP enhanced the transcription of Bdnf and TrkC 3 h after pMCAO and Ngf, TrkB, TrkC, and TrkA 24 h after pMCAO. The analysis of the transcription alterations under PGP and Semax treatment in the cortex of rats without surgery, sham-operated rats and rats subjected to pMCAO revealed that Semax selectively affected the transcription of neurotrophins and their receptors in the ischemic rat cortex, whereas the influence of PGP was mainly unspecific.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / genetics*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Nerve Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology*
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / genetics*
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*


  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
  • prolyl-prolyl-glycine
  • ACTH (4-7), Pro-Gly-Pro-
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone