Pharmacological and biochemical approaches were used to elucidate the involvement of growth factor signaling pathways mediating estrogen neuroprotection in primary cortical neurons after glutamate excitotoxicity. We addressed the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, which are activated by growth factors such as nerve growth factor (NGF). Inhibition of MAPK signaling with the MAPK kinase inhibitor PD98059 blocks both NGF and estrogen neuroprotection in these neurons. These results correlate with a rapid and sustained increase in MAPK activity within 30 min of estrogen exposure. The involvement of signaling molecules upstream from MAPK was also examined to determine whether activation of MAPK by estrogen is mediated by tyrosine kinase activity. Estrogen produces a rapid, transient activation of src-family tyrosine kinases and tyrosine phosphorylation of p21(ras)-guanine nucleotide activating protein. Effects of estrogen on neuroprotection, as well as rapid activation of tyrosine kinase and MAPK activity, are blocked by the anti- estrogen ICI 182,780. This provides evidence that activation of the MAPK pathway by estrogen participates in mediating neuroprotection via an estrogen receptor. These results describe a novel mechanism by which cytoplasmic actions of the estrogen receptor may activate the MAPK pathway, thus broadening the understanding of effects of estrogen in neurons.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Apr 1 1999|
- Growth factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas