Physiology and Pharmacology Publications


Abelson Tyrosine Kinase Links PDGFbeta Receptor Activation to Cytoskeletal Regulation of NMDA Receptors in CA1 Hippocampal Neurons

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: We have previously demonstrated that PDGF receptor activation indirectly inhibits N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) currents by modifying the cytoskeleton. PDGF receptor ligand is also neuroprotective in hippocampal slices and cultured neurons. PDGF receptors are tyrosine kinases that control a variety of signal transduction pathways including those mediated by PLCγ. In fibroblasts Src and another non-receptor tyrosine kinase, Abelson kinase (Abl), control PDGF receptor regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics. The mechanism whereby PDGF receptor regulates cytoskeletal dynamics in central neurons remains poorly understood.

Results: Intracellular applications of active Abl, but not heat-inactivated Abl, decreased NMDAevoked currents in isolated hippocampal neurons. This mimics the effects of PDGF receptor activation in these neurons. The Abl kinase inhibitor, STI571, blocked the inhibition of NMDA currents by Abl. We demonstrate that PDGF receptors can activate Abl kinase in hippocampal neurons via mechanisms similar to those observed previously in fibroblasts. Furthermore, PDGFβ receptor activation alters the subcellular localization of Abl. Abl kinase is linked to actin cytoskeletal dynamics in many systems. We show that the inhibition of NMDA receptor currents by Abl kinase is blocked by the inclusion of the Rho kinase inhibitor, Y-27632, and that activation of Abl correlates with an increase in ROCK tyrosine phosphorylation.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that PDGFβ receptors act via an interaction with Abl kinase and Rho kinase to regulated cytoskeletal regulation of NMDA receptor channels in CA1 pyramidal neurons.


Published in: Molecular Brain 2008, 1:20 (doi:10.1186/1756-6606-1-20). The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Find in your library