Exp Mol Med.  2006 Jun;38(3):310-319.

Cell type-specific upregulation of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate and protein kinase C-alpha, -beta I, -beta II, and -delta in microglia following kainic acid-induced seizures

  • 1Department of Physiology, Cheju National University College of Medicine, Jeju 690-756, Korea.
  • 2Biomedical Brain Research Center and Department of Biomedical Science, National Institute of Health, Seoul 122-701, Korea.
  • 3Department of Chemistry, Mokpo National University, Chonnam 534-729, Korea.
  • 4Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-799, Korea. kimjun@plaza.snu.ac.kr
  • 5Office of Clinical Research and Laboratory of Neurobiology, A2-05 National Institute of Environment Health Sciences, 111 Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) is a widely distributed protein kinase C (PKC) substrate and has been implicated in actin cytoskeletal rearrangement in response to extracellular stimuli. Although MARCKS was extensively examined in various cell culture systems, the physiological function of MARCKS in the central nervous system has not been clearly understood. We investigated alterations of cellular distribution and phosphorylation of MARCKS in the hippocampus following kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures. KA (25 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered to eight to nine week-old C57BL/6 mice. Behavioral seizure activity was observed for 2 h after the onset of seizures and was terminated with diazepam (8 mg/kg, i.p.). The animals were sacrificed and analyzed at various points in time after the initiation of seizure activity. Using double-labeling immunofluorescence analysis, we demonstrated that the expression and phosphorylation of MARCKS was dramatically upregulated specifically in microglial cells after KA-induced seizures, but not in other types of glial cells. PKC alpha, beta I, beta II and delta, from various PKC isoforms examined, also were markedly upregulated, specifically in microglial cells. Moreover, immunoreactivities of phosphorylated MARCKS were co-localized in the activated microglia with those of the above isoforms of PKC. Taken together, our in vivo data suggest that MARCKS is closely linked to microglial activation processes, which are important in pathological conditions, such as neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.


gene expression; kainic acid; microglia; myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate; protein kinase C; seizures

MeSH Terms

Up-Regulation/drug effects
Time Factors
Seizures/chemically induced/*metabolism
Protein Kinase C-delta/analysis
Protein Kinase C-alpha/analysis
Protein Kinase C/*analysis
Protein Biosynthesis/drug effects
Phosphorylation/drug effects
Microscopy, Confocal
Microglia/cytology/drug effects/*metabolism
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Membrane Proteins/*analysis/metabolism
Kainic Acid/*toxicity
Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/*analysis/metabolism
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