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Keywords:

  • Akt;
  • p-Bad;
  • Bax;
  • Bcl-xL;
  • epilepsy

Abstract

The ketogenic diet (KD) is often effective for intractable epilepsy, but its antiepileptic mechanisms remain largely unknown. Within the cell death/survival pathway, Akt and its downstream protein Bad play an important role in kainic acid (KA)-induced cell death. Therefore, we investigated the effects of a KD on KA-induced changes in the Akt/Bad/14-3-3 signaling pathway by evaluating Akt, Bad, 14-3-3, and cleaved caspase-3 expression levels as well as their relative interactions. Our results showed that a KD did not affect the expression levels of Akt, Bad, Bcl-xL, Bax, and 14-3-3 but increased phospho-Akt [serine 473; p-Akt (Ser473)] and phospho-Bad [serine 136; p-Bad (Ser136)] expression levels as well as decreased cleaved caspase-3 levels following a KA-induced seizure in the hippocampus. Furthermore, we found that a KD increased the protein–protein interaction between 14-3-3 and p-Bad (Ser136), which might be phosphorylated by p-Akt (Ser473), and decreased interaction of Bad and Bcl-xL. These results suggest that a KD might protect, at least partially, the hippocampus from KA-induced cell death via inhibiting the dissociation of Bad from 14-3-3. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.