Bmi-1, a polycomb transcriptional repressor, is implicated in cell cycle regulation and cell senescence. Its absence results in generalized astrogliosis and epilepsy during the postnatal development, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the occurrence of oxidative stress in the brain of four-week-old Bmi-1 null mice. The mice showed various hallmarks of neurodegeneration including synaptic loss, axonal demyelination, reactive gliosis and brain mitochondrial damage. Moreover, astroglial glutamate transporters and glutamine synthetase decreased in the Bmi-1 null hippocampus, which might contribute to the sporadic epileptic-like seizures in these mice. These results indicate that Bmi-1 is required for maintaining endogenous antioxidant defenses in the brain, and its absence subsequently causes premature brain degeneration.
|Published - Feb 20 2012
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)