Attenuation of cell death mediated by membrane depolarization different from that by exogenous BDNF in cultured mouse cerebellar granule cells

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 May;56(1-2):218-26. doi: 10.1016/s0169-328x(98)00062-x.


Membrane depolarization accompanying calcium (Ca2+) influx into neurons is thought to play an essential role in controlling the survival and death of cultured mouse cerebellar granule cells (CGCs). In this study, we sequentially controlled the survival and death of CGCs in culture and monitored the expression of several kinds of genes including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene. Deprivation and subsequent induction of membrane depolarization by lowering and re-elevating the extracellular concentration of potassium chloride, respectively, led to death of CGCs and then to an attenuation of the death process depending upon the Ca2+ influx into CGCs through voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs). De novo protein synthesis was critical for attenuating the death of non-depolarized CGCs. Accompanying this attenuation was an activation of c-fos and BDNF genes and an inactivation of c-jun and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) genes. The attenuation of cell death mediated by exogenous BDNF was only partial compared to that by membrane depolarization, suggesting that not only BDNF but also other factors could be involved in the membrane depolarization-mediated attenuation of death of CGCs. In good agreement with this observation, the mode of activation of c-fos, c-jun, BDNF and NT-3 genes induced by exogenous BDNF was different from that induced by membrane depolarization. Thus, membrane depolarization effectively attenuates the death of non-depolarized CGCs, the mode of which seems to be different from that mediated by BDNF alone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / analysis
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / pharmacology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebellum / cytology*
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Potassium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Calcium