Spinal cord injury induces endoplasmic reticulum stress with different cell-type dependent response

Clara Penas, Mónica Sofía Guzmán, Enrique Verdú, Joaquim Forés, Xavier Navarro, Caty Casas

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115 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanisms of injury-induced apoptosis of neurons within the spinal cord are poorly understood. In this study, we show that spinal cord injury (SCI) induces endoplasmic reticulum stress revealed by the activation of an unbalanced unfolded protein response (UPR). Using a weight-drop contusion model of SCI, the UPR activation was characterized by a quick transient phosphorylation of alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 soon restored by the up-regulation of its regulator Gadd34; an effective cleavage/activation of the ATF6α transcription factor leading to up-regulation of the canonical UPR target genes Chop, Xbp1 and Grp78; the presence of the processing of Xbp1 mRNA indicative of inositol requiring kinase 1 activation, and a gradual accumulation of C/EBP homologous transcription factor protein (CHOP) with concomitant caspase-12 activation. Interestingly, the subcellular distribution of CHOP was found in the nucleus of neurons and oligodendrocytes but in the cytoplasm of astrocytes. Considering the pro-apoptotic action attributed to this transcription factor, this phenomenon might account for the different susceptibility of cell types to dye after SCI. © 2007 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1255
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • Astrocytes
  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Neuronal death
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Spinal cord injury


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