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Inhibition of p38 mitogen activated protein kinase activation and mutant SOD1(G93A)-induced motor neuron death.

Laboratory for Neurobiology, Experimental Neurology, University of Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.
Neurobiology of Disease (Impact Factor: 5.2). 06/2007; 26(2):332-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2006.12.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective loss of motor neurons. Stress activated protein kinases (SAPK) have been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of ALS. We studied the relevance of p38 MAPK for motor neuron degeneration in the mutant SOD1 mouse. Increased levels of phospho-p38 MAPK were present in the motor neurons and microglia of the ventral spinal cord. The p38 MAPK-inhibitor, SB203580, completely inhibited mutant SOD1-induced apoptosis of motor neurons and blocked LPS-induced activation of microglia. Semapimod, a p38 MAPK inhibitor suitable for clinical use, prolonged survival of mutant SOD1 mice to a limited extent, but largely protected motor neurons and proximal axons from mutant SOD1-induced degeneration. Our data confirm the abnormal activation of p38 MAPK in mutant SOD1 mice and the involvement of p38 MAPK in mutant SOD1-induced motor neuron death. We demonstrate the effect of p38 MAPK inhibition on survival of mutant SOD1 mice and reveal a dissociation between the effect on survival of motor neurons and that on survival of the animal, the latter likely depending on the integrity of the entire motor axon.

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Available from: Ludo Van Den Bosch, Dec 19, 2013
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