Calbindin-D28K-containing neurons in animal models of neurodegeneration: possible protection from excitotoxicity

A. Iacopino, S. Christakos, D. German, P. K. Sonsalla, C. A. Altar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Brain levels of the calcium binding protein Calbindin-D28K (CaBP28K) and CaBP28K mRNA were measured for various animal models of neurodegenerative diseases (MPTP-treated C57BL/6J mice and Sprague-Dawley rats receiving striatal/intraperitoneal kainic acid or quinolinic acid into the nucleus basalis magnocellularis). Brain areas were tested (radioimmunoassay, Western blot, slot blot, and Northern blot) for levels of CaBP28K and CaBP28K mRNA. The various models did not exhibit any changes in protein or mRNA levels from the controls, suggesting that CaBP28K-containing neurons were not lost after exposure to these neurotoxins. Immunocytochemical characterization of the substantia nigra of the MPTP-treated mice revealed that there was significant dopaminergic cell loss in this brain area after MPTP treatment. The majority of dopaminergic neurons that degenerated did not contain CaBP28K. The small percentage of surviving neurons were CaBP28K-positive. These results suggest that the presence of CaBP28K may protect neurons from calcium-mediated neurotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1992


  • Animal model
  • Calbindin-D
  • Excitotoxin
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • MPTP
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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