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Intrinsic antioxidant defenses are important for neuronal longevity. We found that in rat neurons, synaptic activity, acting via NMDA receptor (NMDAR) signaling, boosted antioxidant defenses by making changes to the thioredoxin-peroxiredoxin (Prx) system. Synaptic activity enhanced thioredoxin activity, facilitated the reduction of overoxidized Prxs and(More)
Synaptic activity promotes resistance to diverse apoptotic insults, the mechanism behind which is incompletely understood. We show here that a coordinated downregulation of core components of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway by neuronal activity forms a key part of the underlying mechanism. Activity-dependent protection against apoptotic insults is(More)
NMDA receptors (NMDARs) mediate ischemic brain damage, for which interactions between the C termini of NR2 subunits and PDZ domain proteins within the NMDAR signaling complex (NSC) are emerging therapeutic targets. However, expression of NMDARs in a non-neuronal context, lacking many NSC components, can still induce cell death. Moreover, it is unclear(More)
It is currently unclear whether the GluN2 subtype influences NMDA receptor (NMDAR) excitotoxicity. We report that the toxicity of NMDAR-mediated Ca(2+) influx is differentially controlled by the cytoplasmic C-terminal domains of GluN2B (CTD(2B)) and GluN2A (CTD(2A)). Studying the effects of acute expression of GluN2A/2B-based chimeric subunits with(More)
The recent identification of the mitochondrial Ca(2+) uniporter gene (Mcu/Ccdc109a) has enabled us to address its role, and that of mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake, in neuronal excitotoxicity. Here we show that exogenously expressed Mcu is mitochondrially localized and increases mitochondrial Ca(2+) levels following NMDA receptor activation, leading to(More)
Forebrain neurons have weak intrinsic antioxidant defences compared with astrocytes, but the molecular basis and purpose of this is poorly understood. We show that early in mouse cortical neuronal development in vitro and in vivo, expression of the master-regulator of antioxidant genes, transcription factor NF-E2-related-factor-2 (Nrf2), is repressed by(More)
NMDA receptors (NMDARs) mediate ischemic brain damage, in part through interactions of the PDZ ligand of NR2 subunits with the PDZ domain proteins PSD-95 and neuronal nitric oxide synthase located within the NMDAR signaling complex. We have recently shown that this PDZ ligand-dependent pathway promotes neuronal death via p38 activation. A peptide mimetic of(More)
General rights Copyright for the publications made accessible via the Edinburgh Research Explorer is retained by the author(s) and / or other copyright owners and it is a condition of accessing these publications that users recognise and abide by the legal requirements associated with these rights. Take down policy The University of Edinburgh has made every(More)
Underexpression of the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α is causally linked to certain neurodegenerative disorders, including Huntington's Disease (HD). HD pathoprogression is also associated with aberrant NMDAR activity, in particular an imbalance between synaptic versus extrasynaptic (NMDAR(EX)) activity. Here we show that PGC-1α controls NMDAR(EX)(More)
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) is a neuroprotective peptide which exerts its effects mainly through the cAMP-protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. Here, we show that in cortical neurons, PACAP-induced PKA signaling exerts a major part of its neuroprotective effects indirectly, by triggering action potential (AP) firing. Treatment of(More)