Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 619–627 | Cite as

Effects of Estradiol and IGF-1 on the Sodium Calcium Exchanger in Rat Cultured Cortical Neurons

  • Julio C. Sánchez
  • Diego F. López-Zapata
  • Liliana Francis
  • Lina De Los Reyes
Original Research


The Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) is an important bidirectional transporter of calcium in neurons and has been shown to be involved in neuroprotection. Calcium can activate a number of cascades that can result in apoptosis and cell death, and NCX is a key factor in regulating the cytoplasmic concentration of this ion. 17-β-estradiol and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) are known neuroprotective hormones with interacting mechanisms and effects on intracellular calcium; however, their relationship with the NCX has not been explored. In this article, the effects of these two hormones on neuronal NCX were tested using the whole-cell patch clamp technique on rat primary culture neurons. Both 17-β-estradiol and IGF-1 produced an increase in the NCX-mediated inward current and a decrease in the NCX-mediated outward current. However, the IGF-1 effect was lower than that of 17-β-estradiol, and the effect of both agents together was greater than the sum of each agent alone. Neither of the agents affected the pattern of regulation by extracellular or intrapipette calcium. Inhibitors of the IGF-1 and 17-β-estradiol receptors and inhibitors of the main signaling pathways failed to change the observed effects, indicating that these actions were not mediated by the classical receptors of these hormones. These effects on the NCX could be a mechanism explaining the neuroprotective actions of 17-β-estradiol and IGF-1, and these findings could help researchers to understand the role of the NCX in neuroprotection.


NCX Estradiol IGF-I Electrophysiology Neuroprotection 



We thank to the Red de Universidades Públicas del Eje Cafetero Alma Máter and Colciencias for financial support.

Supplementary material

10571_2011_9657_MOESM1_ESM.tif (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 1154 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julio C. Sánchez
    • 1
  • Diego F. López-Zapata
    • 1
  • Liliana Francis
    • 2
  • Lina De Los Reyes
    • 2
  1. 1.Grupo de Fisiología Celular y Aplicada, Facultad Ciencias de la SaludUniversidad Tecnológica de PereiraPereiraColombia
  2. 2.Grupo de Modelos Experimentales para las Ciencias Zoohumanas, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad del TolimaIbaguéColombia

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