Cytotoxic brain edema, usually a consequence of astrocyte swelling, is an important complication of stroke, traumatic brain injury, hepatic encephalopathy, and other neurological disorders. Although mechanisms underlying astrocyte swelling are not fully understood, oxidative stress (OS) has generally been considered an important factor in its pathogenesis. To better understand the mechanism(s) by which OS causes cell swelling, we examined the potential involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in this process. Cultures exposed to the oxidant H2O2 (10, 25, 50 μM) for different time periods (1-24 hr) significantly increased cell swelling in a triphasic manner. Swelling was initially observed at 10 min (peaking at 30 min), which was followed by cell shrinkage at 1 hr. A subsequent increase in cell volume occurred at approximately 6 hr, and the rise lasted for at least 24 hr. Cultures exposed to H2O2 caused the activation of MAPKs (ERK1/2, JNK and p38-MAPK), whereas inhibition of MAPKs diminished cell swelling induced by 10 and 25 μM H2O2. These findings suggest that activation of MAPKs is an important factor in the mediation of astrocyte swelling following oxidative stress.
- Cell signalling
- Cell volume regulation
- Oxidative stress
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience