Microtubule-associated protein 2 as an early indicator of ischemia-induced neurodegeneration in the gerbil forebrain

J Neurochem. 1994 Sep;63(3):1012-20. doi: 10.1046/j.1471-4159.1994.63031012.x.


Microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) was studied in the gerbil hippocampus and striatum after transient ischemia. Western immunoblot analysis shows that there is a significant decrease of MAP-2 in the dorsolateral sector of the striatum and a slight decrease of MAP-2 in the CA1 region of the hippocampus 6-12 h after ischemia in the gerbil forebrain. The immunohistochemical staining pattern of MAP-2 in these two regions also shows a loss of immunostaining of MAP-2. In particular, a beaded MAP-2 immunostaining pattern at the apical dendritic region of the CA1 neurons of the hippocampus was found within 12 h after ischemia compared with the smooth dendritic immunostaining of MAP-2 in normal CA1 neurons. In vitro assays of MAP-2 degradation suggest that dendritic loss of immunoreactivity after ischemia seen on western blots may be due to calpain I degradation of MAP-2. Loss of MAP-2 in both the striatum and hippocampus was found to occur earlier than spectrin degradation by western blot analysis. These results suggest that loss of MAP-2 may participate in the initial phase of neuronal dysfunction and that dendritic breakdown may be a first sign of neurodegeneration.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calpain / metabolism
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / metabolism
  • Egtazic Acid / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gerbillinae
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / physiopathology*
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nerve Degeneration*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Prosencephalon / metabolism
  • Spectrin / metabolism


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Spectrin
  • Egtazic Acid
  • Calpain