An orchestrated gene expression component of neuronal programmed cell death revealed by cDNA array analysis


The National Academy of Sciences


Programmed cell death (PCD) during neuronal development and disease has been shown to require de novo RNA synthesis. However, the time course and regulation of target genes is poorly understood. By using a brain-biased array of over 7,500 cDNAs, we profiled this gene expression component of PCD in cerebellar granule neurons challenged separately by potassium withdrawal, combined potassium and serum withdrawal, and kainic acid administration. We found that hundreds of genes were significantly regulated in discreet waves including known genes whose protein products are involved in PCD. A restricted set of genes was regulated by all models, providing evidence that signals inducing PCD can regulate large assemblages of genes (of which a restricted subset may be shared in multiple pathways).

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