Neurochemical Research

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 2178–2186 | Cite as

Activation of Calpain, Cathepsin-b and Caspase-3 during Transient Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Rat Model

Original Paper


Calpains, cathepsins and caspases play crucial role in mediating cell death. In the present study we observed a cascade of events involving the three proteases during middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in Wistar rats. The rats were MCA occluded and reperfused at various time points. We observed a maximal increase in the levels of calpains during 1h and 12 h after reperfusion than permanently occluded rats. Further, these levels were reduced by 1st and 3rd day of reperfusion. Similarly the cathepsin-b levels were significantly increased during 1h and 12 h, of reperfusion, followed by activation of caspase-3 which reached maximal levels by 1st and 3rd day of reperfusion. The sequential activation of calpains, cathepsin-b and cleaved caspase-3 is evident by the Western blot analysis which was further confirmed by the cleavage of substrates like PSD-95 and spectrin. The differences in the regional distribution and elevation of these proteases at different reperfusion time periods indicates that differential mode of cell death occur in the brain during cerebral ischemia in rat model.


Calpain Cathepsin-b Active caspase-3 PSD-95 Spectrin Middle cerebral artery occlusion Focal cerebral ischemia Apoptosis Necrosis 



Financial assistance from DBT and Senior Research fellowship from UGC is gratefully acknowledged. Generous gift of antibodies from Prof. Emmanuel Brouillet for providing PSD-95, Spectrin and Dr. Spencer for Calpain antibody is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ganta Vijay Chaitanya
    • 1
  • Phanithi Prakash Babu
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Biotechnology and Department of Animal Sciences, School of Life sciencesUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia

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