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J Korean Bal Soc > Volume 2(2); 2003 > Article
Journal of the Korean Balance Society 2003;2(2): 301-301.
Activation of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase1/2 in Rat Vestibular Nuclei by Unilateral Labyrinthectomy
Myoung Ae Choi*
Activation of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase1/2 in Rat Vestibular Nuclei by Unilateral Labyrinthectomy
Myoung Ae Choi*, Dong Ok Choi, Kwang Yong Kim, Byung Rim Park, Min Sun Kim,
Department of Physiology, Wonkwang University School of Medicine and Vestibulocochlear Research Center at Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749
ABSTRACT
Vestibular compensation, the process of recovery from vestibular symptoms after unilateral injury of the vestibular system, is an animal model for lesion-induced neural plasticity in the mammalian central nervous system. This study evaluated the expression of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (pERK1/2), which is one of the main factors regulating transcription of the cfos oncogene in neurons, in the vestibular nuclei of Sprague-Dawley rats following unilateral labyrinthectomy (UL). Surgical UL was performed to eliminate afferent signals from the peripheral vestibular receptors in the inner ear, under a surgical microscope, 2 hours after anesthesia. Significant numbers of pERK1/2 immunoreactive neurons were seen in the superior, medial, and inferior vestibular nuclei. There were more pERK1/2 immunoreactive cells in the contralateral vestibular nuclei than in the vestibular nuclei ipsilateral to the injured labyrinth, which resulted in significant asymmetric expression of pERK1/2 immunoreactive cells. Subsequently, the pERK1/2 immunoreactivity decreased rapidly, disappearing 2 hours after labyrinthectomy. No pER1/2 labeling was seen in the lateral vestibular nucleus. Western blot confirmed the temporal change in the asymmetric expression of pERK1/2 protein in the vestibular nuclei during vestibular compensation. These results suggest that intracellular signal pathways for the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the vestibular nuclei are involved in lesion-neural plasticity in the vestibular system (Supported by MRC at Wonkwagn University).
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