IGF-I Prevents Glutamate-Mediated Bax Translocation and Cytochrome C Release in O4+ Oligodendrocyte Progenitors

Jennifer K. Ness, Russell C. Scaduto, Teresa L. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Oligodendroglial death due to overactivation of the AMPA/kainate glutamate receptors is implicated in white matter damage in multiple CNS disorders. We previously demonstrated that glutamate induces caspase-3 activation and death of the late oligodendrocyte progenitor known as the pro-oligodendroblast (pro-OL) via activation of the AMPA/kainate glutamate receptors. We also demonstrated that IGF-I had the unique ability to sustain activation of Akt in the pro-OL and provide long-term protection of these cells from glutamate-mediated apoptosis. The goal of these studies was to investigate the mechanisms of glutamate toxicity and IGF-I-mediated survival in the pro-OL. IGF-I prevented glutamate-induced loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, cytochrome c release, and caspase-9 activation. In contrast to IGF-I mediated survival mechanisms in neurons, IGF-I had no effect on the influx or recovery of intracellular calcium levels or on levels of major pro- and anti-apoptotic molecules including Bax or Bcl-xL. Rather, IGF-I prevented the glutamate-induced translocation of Bax to the mitochondria. Moreover, IGF-I prevented caspase-3 activation in pro-OLs as long as 8 h after exposure of the cells to glutamate, suggesting that delayed activation of IGF-I-mediated survival pathways can block glutamate-mediated apoptosis in pro-OLs. The results of these experiments define the mechanisms by which glutamate kills oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and by which IGF-I blocks glutamate-induced apoptosis in these cells. The data also demonstrate that IGF-I disrupts the glutamate-mediated apoptotic pathway in the pro-OL through mechanisms that are distinct from its survival-promoting actions in neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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