Journal of Molecular Histology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 259–270 | Cite as

Expression of G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 6 (GRK6) after acute spinal cord injury in adult rat

  • Binbin Sun
  • Yilu Gao
  • Dong Lou
  • Xiujie Wu
  • Haixiang Wei
  • Hai Wen
  • Xiaolong Deng
  • Feng Zhang
Original Paper


Spinal cord injury frequently results in permanent loss of neurological function. It includes many complex molecular and biochemical mechanisms. G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 6 (GRK6) is an intracellular kinase that regulates the sensitivity of certain G-protein-coupled receptors. Some studies reported GRK2 and GRK5 modulate the NFκB pathway in macrophages. Additionally, GRK2 is referred to as regulating activation of spinal cord microglia and GRK6 expression is significantly elevated in most brain regions in the MPTP-lesioned parkinsonian monkeys. However, the expression and function of GRK6 in nervous system lesion and repair are not well understood. In this study, we performed an acute spinal cord injury (SCI) model in adult rats. Western blot analysis showed the expression of GRK6 was upregulated significantly at protein level in spinal cord after SCI. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence revealed wide expression of GRK6 in the normal spinal cord. After injury, GRK6 expression was increased predominantly in microglia, which expressed F4/80 (marker of macrophages and activated microglia) strongly. To understand whether GRK6 played a role in microglia activation, we applied lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce microglia activation in vitro. Western blot analysis demonstrated up-regulation in GRK6 protein expression after LPS stimulation was time- and dose-dependent and that up-regulation in F4/80 expression was concomitant with GRK6. These data suggested that GRK6 might be involved in the pathophysiology of SCI.


SCI GRK6 Microglia Activation Rats 



Bovine serum albumin




Enhanced chemiluminescence system


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Glial fibrillary acidic protein


G protein-coupled receptors


G-protein-coupled receptor kinase


Highly aggressively proliferating immortalized


Inhibitor of κBα




Leukotriene B4


Nuclear factor κB


Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Room temperature


Spinal cord injury



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81070992); A Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Binbin Sun
    • 1
  • Yilu Gao
    • 1
  • Dong Lou
    • 1
  • Xiujie Wu
    • 1
  • Haixiang Wei
    • 1
  • Hai Wen
    • 1
  • Xiaolong Deng
    • 1
  • Feng Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthopedicsAffiliated Hospital of Nantong UniversityNantongPeople’s Republic of China

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