ERK1, 2, and 5 expression and activation in dopaminergic brain regions during postnatal development
International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Dopamine neurons, MAP kinases, Striatum, Substantia nigra, Ventral tegmental area
Degeneration and dysfunctioning of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain have been associated with serious neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Elucidating the underlying neurobiology of these neurons during early postnatal development may provide important information regarding the etiology of these disorders. Cellular signaling pathways have been shown to regulate postnatal neuronal development. Among several signaling pathways, extracellular-regulated mitogen kinases (ERK) 1, 2, and 5 have been shown to be crucial for the survival and function of dopaminergic neurons. In this study, the basal expression and activation of ERK1, 2, and 5 were studied during postnatal development in regions rich in DA cells and terminals. In the striatum (STR) and ventral mesencephalon regions of the substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA), ERK5 expression and activation were high during early postnatal days and declined with aging. Interestingly, sharp increases in phosphorylated or activated ERK1 and ERK2 were observed at postnatal day (PND) 7 in the SN and VTA. In contrast, in the STR, the levels of phosphorylated ERK1 and 2 were significantly higher at PND0 than at any other PND examined. Overall, the understanding of alterations in ERK signaling in regions rich in DA cells and DA terminals during postnatal neuronal development may provide information about their role in regulation of dopamine neuronal development which may ultimately provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of dopamine neurodegeneration.
Parmar, Mayur S.; Jaumotte, Juliann D.; Zigmond, Michael J.; and Cavanaugh, Jane E., "ERK1, 2, and 5 expression and activation in dopaminergic brain regions during postnatal development" (2015). HPD Articles. 24.
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