Effect of iron on the activation of the MAPK/ERK pathway in PC12 neuroblastoma cells
Recent evidence suggests that reactive oxygen species function as second messenger molecules in normal physiological processes. For example, activation of N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor results in the production of ROS, which appears to be critical for synaptic plasticity, one of the cellular mechanisms that underlie learning and memory. In this work, we studied the effect of iron in the activation of MAPK/ERK pathway and on Ca2+ signaling in neuronal PC12 cells. We found that iron-dependent generation of hydroxyl radicals is likely to modulate Ca2+ signaling through RyR calcium channel activation, which, in turn, activates the MAPK/ERK pathway. These findings underline the relevance of iron in normal neuronal function.