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Water and ion channels : crucial in the initiation and progression of apoptosis in central nervous system?
journal contributionposted on 2008-06-01, 00:00 authored by M Chen, S Sepramaniam, A Armugam, M Choy, J Manikandan, A Melendez, K Jeyaseelan, Steve Cheung
Programmed cell death (PCD), is a highly regulated and sophisticated cellular mechanism that commits cell to isolated death fate. PCD has been implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative disorders. Countless molecular events underlie this phenomenon, with each playing a crucial role in death commitment. A precedent event, apoptotic volume decrease (AVD), is ubiquitously observed in various forms of PCD induced by different cellular insults. Under physiological conditions, cells when subjected to osmotic fluctuations will undergo regulatory volume increase/decrease (RVI/RVD) to achieve homeostatic balance with neurons in the brain being additionally protected by the blood-brain-barrier. However, during AVD following apoptotic trigger, cell undergoes anistonic shrinkage that involves the loss of water and ions, particularly monovalent ions e.g. K+, Na+ and Cl-. It is worthwhile to concentrate on the molecular implications underlying the loss of these cellular components which posed to be significant and crucial in the successful propagation of the apoptotic signals. Microarray and real-time PCR analyses demonstrated several ion and water channel genes are regulated upon the onset of lactacystin (a proteosomal inhibitor)-mediated apoptosis. A time course study revealed that gene expressions of water and ion channels are being modulated just prior to apoptosis, some of which are aquaporin 4 and 9, potassium channels and chloride channels. In this review, we shall looked into the molecular protein machineries involved in the execution of AVD in the central nervous system (CNS), and focus on the significance of movements of each cellular component in affecting PCD commitment, thus provide some pharmacological advantages in the global apoptotic cell death.