, Volume 24, Issue 9–10, pp 687–702 | Cite as

Apoptosis regulation in the penumbra after ischemic stroke: expression of pro- and antiapoptotic proteins

  • Anatoly B. UzdenskyEmail author


Ischemic stroke is the leading cause of human disability and mortality in the world. The main problem in stroke therapy is the search of efficient neuroprotector capable to rescue neurons in the potentially salvageable transition zone (penumbra), which is expanding after brain damage. The data on molecular mechanisms of penumbra formation and expression of diverse signaling proteins in the penumbra during first 24 h after ischemic stroke are discussed. Two basic features of cell death regulation in the ischemic penumbra were observed: (1) both apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins are simultaneously over-expressed in the penumbra, so that the fate of individual cells is determined by the balance between these opposite tendencies. (2) Similtaneous and concerted up-regulation in the ischemic penumbra of proteins that execute apoptosis (caspases 3, 6, 7; Bcl-10, SMAC/DIABLO, AIF, PSR), signaling proteins that regulate different apoptosis pathways (p38, JNK, DYRK1A, neurotrophin receptor p75); transcription factors that control expression of various apoptosis regulation proteins (E2F1, p53, c-Myc, GADD153); and proteins, which are normally involved in diverse cellular functions, but stimulate apoptosis in specific situations (NMDAR2a, Par4, GAD65/67, caspase 11). Hence, diverse apoptosis initiation and regulation pathways are induced simultaneously in penumbra from very different initial positions. Similarly, various anti-apoptotic proteins (Bcl-x, p21/WAF-1, MDM2, p63, PKBα, ERK1, RAF1, ERK5, MAKAPK2, protein phosphatases 1α and MKP-1, estrogen and EGF receptors, calmodulin, CaMKII, CaMKIV) are upregulated. These data provide an integral view of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection in penumbra. Some discussed proteins may serve as potential targets for anti-stroke therapy.


Apoptosis Stroke Penumbra Protein expression Signaling Neurodegeneration 



The work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (Grant # 18-15-00110).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Academy of Biology and BiotechnologySouthern Federal UniversityRostov-on-DonRussia

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