DNA fragmentation and Prolonged expression of c-fos, c-jun, and hsp70 in kainic acid-induced neuronal cell death in transgenic mice overexpressing human CuZn-superoxide dismutase.J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1997 Mar; 17(3):241-56.JC
Kainic acid (KA) neurotoxicity was examined in transgenic (Tg) mice overexpressing human CuZn-superoxide dismutase (SOD-1). The doses of KA required to produce seizures, the severity of the seizures, and the regions damaged were similar in SOD-1 Tg and non-transgenic wild-type mice. Intraperitoneal KA injection induced seizure-related neuronal damage in the CA3 and CA1 regions of the hippocampus and in other regions of the brain in both SOD-1 Tg and wild-type mice. These damaged neurons were labeled with the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated uridine 5'-triphosphate-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) technique up to 72 h, although no significant difference in the number of TUNEL-positive neurons was observed between SOD-1 Tg and wild-type mice. In situ hybridization showed that c-fos, c-jun, and hsp70 genes were expressed in the hippocampus, cortex, and other regions of the brain after KA treatment. The expression of these genes was maximal 1 to 4 h following KA treatment but persisted longer in the hippocampus and other regions in SOD-1 Tg compared with wild-type mice; however, cell death in the hippocampus, assessed using cresyl violet staining, was similar in SOD-1 Tg and wild-type mice. The data show that superoxide radicals modulate both immediate early gene and heat shock gene expression after KA-induced seizures. The prolonged expression of c-fos, c-jun, and hsp70 in SOD-1 Tg compared with wild-type mice may indicate that hippocampal neurons survive longer in SOD-1 Tg than in wild-type animals; however, cell death as well as the seizure threshold, seizure severity and the pattern of regional vulnerability were not affected substantially by increased levels of SOD in the brain.