Broad-spectrum protein kinase inhibition by the staurosporine analog KT-5720 reverses ethanol withdrawal-associated loss of NeuN/Fox-3

Anna R. Reynolds, Meredith A. Saunders, Jennifer N. Berry, Lynda J. Sharrett-Field, Sydney Winchester, Mark A. Prendergast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Chronic, intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure is known to produce neuroadaptive alterations in excitatory neurotransmission that contribute to the development of dependence. Although activation of protein kinases (e.g., cyclic AMP [cAMP]-dependent protein kinase) is implicated in the synaptic trafficking of these receptors following CIE exposure, the functional consequences of these effects are yet to be fully understood. The present study sought to delineate the influence of protein kinase in regulating cytotoxicity following CIE exposure, as well as to examine the relative roles of ethanol exposure and ethanol withdrawal (EWD) in promoting these effects. Rat hippocampal explants were exposed to a developmental model of CIE with or without co-application of broad-spectrum protein kinase inhibitor KT-5720 (1 μM) either during ethanol exposure or EWD. Hippocampal cytotoxicity was assessed via immunofluorescence (IF) of neuron-specific nuclear protein (NeuN) with thionine staining of Nissl bodies to confirm IF findings. Concomitant application of ethanol and KT-5720 restored the loss of NeuN/Fox-3 IF in pyramidal CA1 and granule DG cell layers produced by CIE, but there was no restoration in CA3. Application of KT-5720 during EWD failed to significantly alter levels of NeuN IF, implying that ethanol exposure activates protein kinases that, in part, mediate the effects of EWD. KT-5720 application during EWD also restored thionine staining in CA1, suggesting kinase regulation of both neurons and non-neuronal cells. These data demonstrate that CIE exposure alters protein kinase activity to promote ethanol withdrawal-associated loss of NeuN/Fox-3 and highlight the influence of kinase signaling on distinct cell types in the developing hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (grant number: AA013388 ) and by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (grant number: T32 DA016176 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Chronic
  • Ethanol withdrawal (EWD)
  • Immunofluorescence (IF)
  • Intermittent ethanol (CIE)
  • Neuron specific nuclear protein (NeuN)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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