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Astrocytes are typically star shaped cells playing diverse roles in the function of the nervous system. In astrocyte cultures established from the cerebral hemispheres of newborn rats, the cells have generally a polygonal fibroblast-like morphology, but acquire a stellate shape upon serum removal. When the serine protease thrombin or the bioactive lipid(More)
Glia-derived nexin/protease nexin-1 (GDN/PN-1) is a serine protease inhibitor that is secreted by glial cells and fibroblasts in culture. In the adult mammalian nervous system it has been shown to be expressed in the olfactory system and by some glial cells in response to neuronal injury. In situ hybridization and immunocytochemical studies were performed(More)
The activation of phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 3-kinase is considered to be a key event occurring after stimulation of cells with growth factors. The proto-oncogenic protein kinase B (PKB; also known as RAC protein kinase or Akt) has recently been shown to be a downstream target of PtdIns 3-kinase and may be involved in cell survival. We therefore asked(More)
The mechanism by which thrombin induces neurite retraction was studied in NB2a mouse neuroblastoma cells. The rapid effect of thrombin (completed within minutes) appears to involve an interaction between its anion-binding exosite and the thrombin receptor. Structural alterations of this site increase the EC50 for thrombin-mediated retraction, and a hirudin(More)
Granzymes are a family of serine proteases that are harbored in cytoplasmic granules of activated T lymphocytes and are released upon target cell interaction. Immediate and complete neurite retraction was induced in a mouse neuronal cell line when total extracts of granule proteins were added. This activity was isolated and identified as granzyme A. This(More)
HDs racI Thrombin causes profound metabolic and morphological changes in cultured neural cells via activation of the thrombin receptor, also called protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1). PAR1 mRNA is present in the rat brain, but the role of this receptor in the nervous system remains elusive. The expression of PAR1 and the potent thrombin inhibitor protease(More)
Granzyme A is a serine protease stored in cytoplasmic granules of cytotoxic and helper T lymphocytes. This protease seems to elicit thrombin receptor-mediated responses in neural cells, thereby triggering neurite retraction and reversal of astrocyte stellation. Here we report that granzyme A does not cause platelet aggregation even at concentrations that(More)
A method for clamping cytosolic free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in cultures of rat sympathetic neurons at or below resting levels for several days was devised to determine whether Ca2+ signals are required for neurite outgrowth from neurons that depend on Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) for their growth and survival. To control [Ca2+]i, normal Ca2+ influx was eliminated by(More)
The precise role of ceramide in NF-kappaB signaling remains unclear. The recent observation of differential sphingomyelin synthase (SMS) activity in normal (low SMS) versus SV40-transformed (high SMS) WI38 human lung fibroblasts provides an opportunity to assess the involvement of ceramide and SMS in NF-kappaB activation. Treatment of normal WI38(More)
Adenosine triphosphate synthesis and metabolism in cultured sympathetic neurons was studied after the incorporation of [2-3H]adenine into intact or microdissected neurites to determine whether ATP is provided locally during neurite outgrowth, when and where it is synthesized and how its levels are regulated at rest and following depolarization. Neurites(More)