Bid-mediated mitochondrial pathway is critical to ischemic neuronal apoptosis and focal cerebral ischemia

Xiao Ming Yin, Yumin Luo, Guodong Cao, Li Bai, Wei Pei, Diane K. Kuharsky, Jun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations


We have investigated the role of the BH3-only prodeath Bcl-2 family protein, Bid, in ischemic neuronal death in a murine focal cerebral ischemia model. Wildtype and bid-deficient mice of inbred C57BL/6 background were subjected to 90-min ischemia induced by left middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 72-h reperfusion. The volume of ischemic infarct was significantly smaller in the bid-deficient brains than in the wild-type brains, suggesting that Bid participated in the ischemic neuronal death. Indeed, following the ischemic treatment there was a significant reduction of apoptosis in the ischemic areas, particularly in the inner infarct border zone (the penumbra), of the bid-deficient brains. In addition, activation of Bid in the wild-type brains could be readily detected at ∼3 h after ischemia, as evidenced by its proteolytic cleavage and translocation to the mitochondria as determined using Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining. Correspondingly, mitochondrial release of cytochrome c could be detected around the same time Bid was cleaved in the wild-type brains. However, no significant cytochrome c release was detected in the bid-deficient brains until 24 h later. This suggests that, although the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway might be activated by multiple mechanisms during focal cerebral ischemia, Bid is critical to its early activation. This notion was further supported by the finding that caspase-3 activation was severely impaired in the bid-deficient brains, whereas activation of caspase-8 was much less affected. Taken together, these data suggest that Bid is activated early in neuronal ischemia in a caspase-8-dependent fashion and that Bid is perhaps one of the earliest and most potent activators of the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Thus, the role of Bid in the induction of ischemic neuronal death may render this molecule an attractive target for future therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42074-42081
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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