Hippocampal CA1 neurons are the most vulnerable to transient cerebral ischemia. However, the mechanism has not been fully understood. The level of mRNA for cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COX-I), which is encoded by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), progressively decreased in the hippocampal CA1 neurons of gerbils from 1 to 3 h of the reperfusion after 3.5 min of transient forebrain ischemia, and completely disappeared at 7 days. The activity of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) protein also showed the early decrease in the CA1 cells, and was followed by the reduction of the level of COX-I DNA after 2 days. However, the activity of succinic dehydrogenase (SDH), a mitochondrial enzyme that is encoded by nuclear DNA, maintained normal activity until 1 day in the CA1 cells, and significantly decreased at 7 days. These results suggest that disturbance of mitochondrial DNA expression occurred in the CA1 neurons at the early stage of reperfusion, and was aggravated in the course of time. The disturbance could cause progressive failure of energy production of the cells that eventually results in the neuronal cell death.
- Cytochrome c oxidase
- Mitochondrial DNA
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience