Effects of Src kinase inhibition on expression of pro-caspase-2 after brain hypoxia in a piglet animal model

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Caspase-2 has features of both initiator and effector caspases. Previously, we have shown that brain hypoxia-induced production of caspases 1, 3, 8, and 9 is Src kinase mediated, a nonreceptor intracellular family of kinases. The present study tests the hypothesis that hypoxia results in increased expression of caspase-2 and this effect is mediated by Src kinase. Two to three days old newborn piglets were subjected to normoxia, hypoxia (Hx, FiO2 7%), and Src kinase inhibition (using PP2, 1 mg/kg, intravenous), followed by 30 min of acute hypoxia (Hx+PP2). ATP and phosphocreatine were determined biochemically to verify energy molecule depletion in the hypoxic groups. The cytosolic brain function was isolated and a western blot analysis was carried out using an antibody specific for the caspase-2. The immune-complex band density was expressed as OD/mm2. Caspase-2 expression was increased two-fold in the Hx group. After Src kinase inhibition followed by hypoxia, caspase-2 expression was similar to normoxia levels. We conclude that hypoxia results in increased expression of caspase-2 protein in the cytosolic fraction of the cerebral cortex of the newborn piglets. This increase is mediated by Src kinase.

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