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