Several studies have shown that Purkinje cells die by apoptosis in organotypic slice cultures from postnatal 3-day-old (P3) mice. This cell death is age-dependent and has been proposed as indirect evidence for the programmed Purkinje cell death occurring in in vivo cerebellum. Here, we studied whether c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 kinase pathways contribute to the Purkinje cell death observed in cerebellar slice cultures obtained from P3 mice. Slice culture treatment with D-JNKI1 or SB203580, respectively inhibitors of JNK and p38 MAP kinases, results in a better survival of Purkinje cells. Interestingly, the combined treatment with the two inhibitors potentiated single treatment effects. These results suggest that p38 and JNK pathways might be differently implicated in this Purkinje cell death. Time course experiments found p38 activation immediately post-slicing, whereas JNK activation was detected only 2 h after the culture. We hypothesize that p38 activation might be due to the "sliced condition," and JNK activation might be more specific to P3 age-dependent cell death. The study of JNK and p38 activation in cerebellar lysates from P0 slice culture confirmed JNK activation being specific for the P3 explants, whereas p38 is activated both from P0 and P3 cerebellar slice culture lysates. These results suggest that p38 is activated by the slicing, whereas JNK activation is related to developmental Purkinje cell death.
- Blotting, Western
- Enzyme Activation
- JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism
- Organ Culture Techniques
- Purkinje Cells/cytology
- Specimen Handling/adverse effects
- p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism