Bcl-2 family regulation of neuronal development and neurodegeneration

Rizwan S. Akhtar, Jayne M. Ness, Kevin A. Roth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Neuronal cell death is a key feature of both normal nervous system development and neuropathological conditions. The Bcl-2 family, via its regulation of both caspase-dependent and caspase-independent cell death pathways, is uniquely positioned to critically control neuronal cell survival. Targeted gene disruptions of specific bcl-2 family members and the generation of transgenic mice overexpressing anti- or pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members have confirmed the importance of the Bcl-2 family in the nervous system. Data from studies of human brain tissue and experimental animal models of neuropathological conditions support the hypothesis that the Bcl-2 family regulates cell death in the mature nervous system and suggest that pharmacological manipulation of Bcl-2 family action could prove beneficial in the treatment of human neurological conditions such as stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-203
Number of pages15
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bax
  • Bcl-X
  • Caspase
  • Neuropathology
  • Programmed cell death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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