Original Article

MEK inhibitor PD98059 acutely inhibits synchronized spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations in cultured hippocampal networks

Authors: Yan-fang Rui, Zhao-hui Sun, Jia-ping Gu, Zhong-hua Sheng, Xiang-ping He, Zuo-ping Xie

Abstract

Aim: To investigate the changes in synchronized spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations induced by mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD98059 at different concentrations in cultured hippocampal network.
Methods: Hippocampal neurons in culture for 1-2 weeks were used for this study. Spontaneous synaptic activities of these hippocampal neurons were examined by Ca2+ imaging using calcium-sensitive dye. MEK inhibitor PD98059 (10, 30, and 60 μmol/L) and SB202474 (10 and 60 μmol/L), a negative control for mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade study, were applied to the cells under the microscope while imaging was taking place.
Results: PD98059 at a lower concentration of 10 μmol/L had little effect on the Ca2+ oscillation. At the higher concentration of 30 μmol/L, 5 min after application of PD98059, the spike frequency was decreased to 25.38%±7.40% (mean±SEM, n=16, P<0.01 vs medium control) of that of the control period. At an even higher concentration of 60 μmol/L, 5 min after application of PD98059, the spike frequency was decreased to 14.53%±5.34% (mean±SEM, n=16, P<0.01 vs medium control) of that of the control period. The spike amplitude underwent a corresponding decrease. However, the negative control SB202474 at concentrations of 10 and 60 μmol/L had little inhibition effect on the Ca2+ oscillation.
Conclusion: These results indicate that PD98059 inhibits synchronized spontaneous Ca2+ oscillation through inhibition of MEK, which hints that the MAPK cascade is required to maintain synchronized spontaneous Ca2+ oscillation.
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