Object. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of S-100 proteins in the onset of vasospasm induced by subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which leads to severe neurological morbidity and death. It has recently been argued that modifications in the levels of expression of some intracellular signaling elements controlling the organization of the actin cytoskeleton (including the rho A small guanosine triphosphatase and its related kinases) play significant roles in the induction of smooth-muscle cell contraction, a calcium-dependent process that is pathognomonic of SAH-induced vasospasm at the molecular level. Several members of the calcium-binding S-100 protein family are known to exercise significant control over the organization of the actin cytoskeleton. Methods. The levels of expression of S-100 proteins in SAH-induced vasospasm have never been investigated. The authors therefore used a double-hemorrhage rat model of SAH-induced vasospasm to determine whether the levels of expression of S-100B, S-100A1, S-100A2, S-100A4, and S-100A6 proteins on immunohistochemical studies were significantly modified in this pathological condition. Quantitative determination of immunohistochemically confirmed expression of S-100 proteins (accomplished with the aid of computer-assisted microscopy) revealed that SAH-induced vasospasm is accompanied by a very significant increase in S-100B, S-100A2, and, to a lesser extent, in S-100A4 and S-100A6 expression, whereas this condition is not accompanied by significant modifications to S-100A1 expression. Conclusions. Such significant modifications in the levels of expression of different members of the S-100 protein family in SAH-induced vasospasm could relate to the various roles played by this specific class of calcium-binding proteins at the level of actin cytoskeleton organization. These modifications in S-100 protein expression seem relatively specific to SAH-induced vasospasm, because heparin-induced epilepsy-like symptoms were accompanied by dramatically distinct profiles of S-100 protein expression.
- S-100 protein family