Remote ischemic postconditioning (RIP) refers to an ischemia conducted in a distant organ that protects against a prior ischemia in another organ. We tested whether RIP protects against focal ischemia in the rat brain. Stroke was generated by a permanent occlusion of the left distal middle cerebral artery combined with a 30 min occlusion of the bilateral common carotid arteries (CCA) in male rats. After CCA release, RIP was generated by 3 cycles of 15 min occlusion/15 min release of the left hind femoral artery. The results showed that rapid RIP performed immediately after CCA release reduced infarction by 67% measured at 2 d after stroke. In addition, delayed RIP initiated as late as 3 h, but not 6 h, still robustly reduced infarction by 43% 2 d after stroke. RIP's protective effect was abolished by injecting the protein synthesis inhibitor, cycloheximide, and the afferent nerve blocker, capsaicin, suggesting that RIP blocks ischemic injury by modulating protein synthesis and nerve activity. Nevertheless, rapid RIP did not reduce infarction size 2 months after stroke while it ameliorated the outcome of the behavioral test. In conclusion, RIP attenuates brain injury after focal ischemia.
stroke; cerebral ischemia; preconditioning; remote postconditioning
Although the protective mechanisms of delayed ischemic preconditioning have received extensive studies, few have addressed the mechanisms associated with rapid ischemic postconditioning. We investigated whether ischemic tolerance induced by rapid preconditioning is regulated by the Akt survival signaling pathway. Stroke was generated by permanent occlusion of the left distal middle cerebral artery (MCA) plus 30 min or 1 h occlusion of the bilateral common carotid artery (CCA) in male rats. Rapid preconditioning performed 1h before stroke onset reduced infarct size by 69% in rats with 30 min CCA occlusion, but by only 19% with 1 h occlusion. After control ischemia with 30 min CCA occlusion, Western Blot showed that P-Akt was transiently increased while Akt kinase assay showed that Akt activity was decreased. Although preconditioning did not change P-Akt levels at 1h and 5h compared with control ischemia, it attenuated reduction in Akt activity at 5h in the penumbra. However, preconditioning did not change the levels of P-PDK1, P-PTEN, and P-GSK3β in the Akt pathway, all of which were decreased after stroke. At last, the PI3K kinase inhibitor, LY294002, completely reversed the protection from ischemic preconditioning. In conclusion, Akt contributes to the protection of rapid preconditionin against stroke.
rapid preconditioning; ischemic tolerance; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection; Akt
The author reviews the protective effects of ischemic postconditioning, a recently emerging strategy with broad implications in the search for new treatments in stroke and myocardial ischemic injury. Ischemic postconditioning, which refers to a series of brief ischemia and reperfusion cycles applied immediately at the site of the ischemic organ after reperfusion, results in reduced infarction in both cerebral and myocardial ischemia. Conventional postconditioning induced within a few minutes after reperfusion is arbitrarily defined as rapid postconditioning. In contrast, postconditioning performed hours to days after stroke is defined as delayed postconditioning. In addition, postconditioning can be mimicked using anesthetics or other pharmacological agents as stimuli to protect against ischemia/reperfusion injury or performed in a distant organ, which is known as remote postconditioning. In this article, the author discusses the conceptual origin of classical rapid ischemic postconditioning and its evolution into a term that represents a broad range of stimuli or triggers, including delayed postconditioning, pharmacological postconditioning, and remote postconditioning. Thereafter, various in vivo and in vitro models of postconditioning and its potential protective mechanisms are discussed. Since the concept of postconditioning is so closely associated with that of preconditioning and both share some common protective mechanisms, whether a combination of preconditioning and postconditioning offers greater protection than preconditioning or postconditioning alone is also discussed.
Postconditioning; preconditioning; stroke; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection
Delayed remote ischemic postconditioning (DRIPost) has been shown to protect the rat brain from ischemic injury. However, extremely short therapeutic time windows hinder its translational use and the mechanism of action remains elusive. Because opening of the mitochondria KATP channel is crucial for cell apoptosis, we hypothesized that the neuroprotective effect of DRIPost may be associated with KATP channels. In the present study, the neuroprotective effects of DRIPost were investigated using adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Rats were exposed to 90 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion followed by 72 hours of reperfusion. Delayed remote ischemic postconditioning was performed with three cycles of bilateral femoral artery occlusion/reperfusion for 5 minutes at 3 or 6 hours after reperfusion. Neurologic deficit scores and infarct volumes were assessed, and cellular apoptosis was monitored by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick-end labeling. Our results showed that DRIPost applied at 6 hours after reperfusion exerted neuroprotective effects. The KATP opener, diazoxide, protected rat brains from ischemic injury, while the KATP blocker, 5-hydroxydecanote, reversed the neuroprotective effects of DRIPost. These findings indicate that DRIPost reduces focal cerebral ischemic injury and that the neuroprotective effects of DRIPost may be achieved through opening of KATP channels.
brain ischemia; KATP; remote ischemic postconditioning; reperfusion injury
Experimental studies have shown that ischemic postconditioning can reduce neuronal injury in the setting of cerebral ischemia, but the mechanisms are not yet clearly elucidated. This study was conducted to determine whether ischemic postconditioning can alter expression of heat shock protein 70 and reduce acute phase neuronal injury in rats subjected to transient focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion.
Focal cerebral ischemia was induced by intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion for 60 min in twenty male Sprague-Dawley rats (250-300 g). Rats were randomized into control group and an ischemic postconditioning group (10 rats per group). The animals of control group had no intervention either before or after MCA occlusion. Ischemic postconditioning was elicited by 3 cycles of 30 s reperfusion interspersed by 10 s ischemia immediately after onset of reperfusion. The infarct ratios, brain edema ratios and motor behavior deficits were analyzed 24 hrs after ischemic insult. Caspase-3 reactive cells and cells showing heat shock protein 70 activity were counted in the caudoputamen and frontoparietal cortex.
Ischemic postconditiong did not reduce infarct size and brain edema ratios compared to control group. Neurologic scores were not significantly different between groups. The number of caspase-3 reactive cells in the ischemic postconditioning group was not significantly different than the value of the control group in the caudoputamen and frontoparietal cortex. The number of cells showing heat shock protein 70 activity was not significantly different than the control group, as well.
These results suggest that ischemic postconditioning may not influence the early brain damage induced by focal cerebral ischemia in rats.
Focal cerebral ischemia; Neuroproctection; Postconditioning; Rat
The lack of efficient neuroprotective strategies for neonatal stroke could be ascribed to pathogenic ischemic processes differentiating adults and neonates. We explored this hypothesis using a rat model of neonatal ischemia induced by permanent occlusion of the left distal middle cerebral artery combined with 50 min of occlusion of both common carotid arteries (CCA). Postconditioning was performed by repetitive brief release and occlusion (30 s, 1 and/or 5 min) of CCA after 50 min of CCA occlusion. Alternative reperfusion was generated by controlled release of the bilateral CCA occlusion. Blood-flow velocities in the left internal carotid artery were measured using color-coded pulsed Doppler ultrasound imaging. Cortical perfusion was measured using laser Doppler. Cerebrovascular vasoreactivity was evaluated after inhalation with the hypercapnic gas or inhaled nitric oxide (NO). Whatever the type of serial mechanical interruptions of blood flow at reperfusion, postconditioning did not reduce infarct volume after 72 hours. A gradual perfusion was found during early re-flow both in the left internal carotid artery and in the cortical penumbra. The absence of acute hyperemia during early CCA re-flow, and the lack of NO-dependent vasoreactivity in P7 rat brain could in part explain the inefficiency of ischemic postconditioning after ischemia-reperfusion.
Remote ischemic preconditioning is an emerging concept for stroke treatment, but its protection against focal stroke has not been established. We tested whether remote preconditioning, performed in the ipsilateral hind limb, protects against focal stroke and explored its protective parameters. Stroke was generated by a permanent occlusion of the left distal middle cerebral artery (MCA) combined with a 30 minute occlusion of the bilateral common carotid arteries (CCA) in male rats. Limb preconditioning was generated by 5 or 15 minute occlusion followed with the same period of reperfusion of the left hind femoral artery, and repeated for 2 or 3 cycles. Infarct was measured 2 days later. The results showed that rapid preconditioning with 3 cycles of 15 minutes performed immediately before stroke reduced infarct size from 47.7±7.6% of control ischemia to 9.8±8.6%; at 2 cycles of 15 minutes, infarct was reduced to 24.7±7.3%; at 2 cycles of 5 minutes, infarct was not reduced. Delayed preconditioning with 3 cycles of 15 minutes conducted 2 days before stroke also reduced infarct to 23.0 ±10.9%, but with 2 cycles of 15 minutes it offered no protection. The protective effects at these two therapeutic time windows of remote preconditioning are consistent with those of conventional preconditioning, in which the preconditioning ischemia is induced in the brain itself. Unexpectedly, intermediate preconditioning with 3 cycles of 15 minutes performed 12 hours before stroke also reduced infarct to 24.7±4.7%, which contradicts the current dogma for therapeutic time windows for the conventional preconditioning that has no protection at this time point. In conclusion, remote preconditioning performed in one limb protected against ischemic damage after focal cerebral ischemia.
preconditioning; remote preconditioning; limb preconditioning; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia
We previously reported that ischemic postconditioning with a series of mechanical interruptions of reperfusion reduced infarct volume 2 days after focal ischemia in rats. Here, we extend this data by examining long-term protection and exploring underlying mechanisms involving the Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathways. Post-conditioning reduced infarct and improved behavioral function assessed 30 days after stroke. Additionally, postconditioning increased levels of phosphorylated Akt (Ser473) as measured by western blot and Akt activity as measured by an in vitro kinase assay. Inhibiting Akt activity by a phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor, LY294002, enlarged infarct in postconditioned rats. Postconditioning did not affect protein levels of phosphorylated-phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 or -phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (molecules upstream of Akt) but did inhibit an increase in phosphorylated-glycogen synthase kinase 3β, an Akt effector. In addition, postconditioning blocked β-catenin phosphorylation subsequent to glycogen synthase kinase, but had no effect on total or non-phosphorylated active β-catenin protein levels. Furthermore, postconditioning inhibited increases in the amount of phosphorylated-c-Jun N-terminal kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 in the MAPK pathway. Finally, postconditioning blocked death-promoting δPKC cleavage and attenuated reduction in phosphorylation of survival-promoting εPKC. In conclusion, our data suggest that postconditioning provides long-term protection against stroke in rats. Additionally, we found that Akt activity contributes to postconditioning’s protection; furthermore, increases in εPKC activity, a survival-promoting pathway, and reductions in MAPK and δPKC activity; two putative death-promoting pathways correlate with postconditioning’s protection.
Akt; cerebral ischemia; mitogen-activated protein kinase; postconditioning; protein kinase C; β-catenin
Ischemic postconditioning is a concept originally defined to contrast with that of ischemic preconditioning. While both preconditioning and postconditioning confer a neuroprotective effect on brain ischemia, preconditioning is a sublethal insult performed in advance of brain ischemia, and postconditioning, which conventionally refers to a series of brief occlusions and reperfusions of the blood vessels, is conducted after ischemia/reperfusion. In this article, we first briefly review the history of preconditioning, including the experimentation that initially uncovered its neuroprotective effects and later revealed its underlying mechanisms-of-action. We then discuss how preconditioning research evolved into that of postconditioning – a concept that now represents a broad range of stimuli or triggers, including delayed postconditioning, pharmacological postconditioning, remote postconditioning – and its underlying protective mechanisms involving the Akt, MAPK, PKC and KATP channel cell-signaling pathways. Because the concept of postconditioning is so closely associated with that of preconditioning, and both share some common protective mechanisms, we also discuss whether a combination of preconditioning and postconditioning offers greater protection than preconditioning or postconditioning alone.
postconditioning; preconditioning; stroke; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection
Brief episodes of ischemia and reperfusion after a lethal ischemic insult confer cardioprotection, a phenomenon termed “ischemic postconditioning.” However, all studies reported to date have been conducted in open-chest animal models. We sought to determine whether postconditioning occurs in conscious animals and whether it protects against severe myocardial injury.
Chronically instrumented rats were assigned to a 30- (Subset 1), 45- (Subset 2), or 60-min (Subset 3) coronary occlusion followed by 24 h of reperfusion. In each subset, rats received no further intervention (control), were preconditioned with 12 cycles of 2-min occlusion/2-min reperfusion immediately (early preconditioning; EPC) or 24 h (late preconditioning; LPC) before myocardial infarction, or were postconditioned with 20 cycles of 10-s occlusion/10-s reperfusion immediately after myocardial infarction (20-10 PostC).
With a 30-min occlusion, infarct size (54.4 ± 2.3% of risk region in control-30) was significantly reduced in EPC-30, LPC-30, and 20-10 PostC-30 groups (by 72, 70, and 47%, respectively; all P < 0.05 vs. control-30). With a 45-min occlusion, infarct size (62.2 ± 2.4% in control-45) was reduced in EPC-45 and LPC-45 groups (by 47 and 41%, respectively; all P < 0.05 vs. control-45) but not in the 20-10 PostC-45 group [55.4 ± 2.3%, P = not significant (NS) vs. control-45]. With a 60-min occlusion, infarct size (72.7 ± 2.2% in control-60) was reduced in the EPC-60 (by 20%, P < 0.05) but not in the LPC-60 (63.6 ± 2.5%, P = NS) or in the 20-20 PostC group (71.5 ± 3.4%, P = NS).
Both early and late ischemic preconditioning as well as ischemic postconditioning confer protection in conscious rats; however, unlike early preconditioning, postconditioning protects only against coronary occlusions <45 min. In the conscious rat, the cardioprotection afforded by postconditioning is limited to mild to moderate myocardial injury.
myocardium; ischemia; infarct size; preconditioning
Ischemic postconditioning (IPOC), or relief of ischemia in a stuttered manner, has emerged as an innovative treatment strategy to reduce programmed cell death, attenuate ischemic injuries, and improve neurological outcomes. However, the mechanisms involved have not been completely elucidated. Recent studies indicate that autophagy is a type of programmed cell death that plays elusive roles in controlling neuronal damage and metabolic homeostasis. This study aims to determine the role of autophagy in IPOC-induced neuroprotection against focal cerebral ischemia in rats.
A focal cerebral ischemic model with permanent middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion plus transient common carotid artery (CCA) occlusion was established. The autophagosomes and the expressions of LC3/Beclin 1/p62 were evaluated for their contribution to the activation of autophagy. We found that autophagy was markedly induced with the upregulation of LC3/Beclin 1 and downregulation of p62 in the penumbra at various time intervals following ischemia. IPOC, performed at the onset of reperfusion, reduced infarct size, mitigated brain edema, inhibited the induction of LC3/Beclin 1 and reversed the reduction of p62 simultaneously. Rapamycin, an inducer of autophagy, partially reversed all the aforementioned effects induced by IPOC. Conversely, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) attenuated the ischemic insults, inhibited the activation of autophagy, and elevated the expression of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, to an extent comparable to IPOC.
The present study suggests that inhibition of the autophagic pathway plays a key role in IPOC-induced neuroprotection against focal cerebral ischemia. Thus, pharmacological inhibition of autophagy may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of stroke.
Ischemic postconditioning initially referred to a stuttering reperfusion performed immediately after reperfusion, for preventing ischemia/reperfusion injury in both myocardial and cerebral infarction. It has evolved into a concept that can be induced by a broad range of stimuli or triggers, and may even be performed as late as 6 h after focal ischemia and 2 days after transient global ischemia. The concept is thought to be derived from ischemic preconditioning or partial/gradual reperfusion, but in fact the first experiment for postconditioning was carried out much earlier than that of preconditioning or partial/gradual reperfusion, in the research on myocardial ischemia. This review first examines the protective effects and parameters of postconditioning in various cerebral ischemic models. Thereafter, it provides insights into the protective mechanisms of postconditioning associated with reperfusion injury and the Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), protein kinase C (PKC), and ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel cell signaling pathways. Finally, some open issues and future challenges regarding clinical translation of postconditioning are discussed.
cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection; preconditioning; postconditioning; stroke
We have shown that isoflurane application at the onset of reperfusion (postconditioning) reduces brain ischemic injury in rats. This study was designed to determine whether this protection involved activation of prosurvival protein kinases and maintenance of normal mitochondrial membrane permeability. Two-month old male rats were subjected to a 90-min middle cerebral arterial occlusion. They then were exposed or were not exposed to 2% isoflurane for 1 h. Ischemic penumbral cerebral cortex was harvested immediately and separated into the mitochondrial and cytosolic fractions. We showed that the mitochondrial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide content in the ischemic penumbral cortex was significantly reduced, suggesting an increased mitochondrial membrane permeability. This increase was partly attenuated by isoflurane postconditioning. The mitochondrial adenosine diphosphate content in the penumbral cortex was reduced no matter whether the animals were postconditioned with isoflurane. The mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate concentration was not different among various experimental conditions. The phospho-Akt in the cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions of the ischemic penumbral cortex was higher than that in the control cortex. This increase trended to be higher in animals with isoflurane postconditioning. A similar change pattern was observed in the mitochondrial phospho-glycogen synthase kinase 3β, an Akt substrate that can regulate the mitochondrial membrane permeability. Isoflurane postconditioning reduced oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced injury of rat cortical neuronal cultures and increased phospho-Akt in these cells. The isoflurane postconditioning-induced protection in the neuronal cultures was decreased by the Akt inhibitor LY294002. These results suggest that isoflurane postconditioning effects may be mediated by Akt and involve reduced mitochondrial membrane permeability.
Akt; glycogen synthase kinase 3β; isoflurane; neuroprotection; mitochondrial membrane permeability; postconditioning
The present study sought to determine whether the combination of late preconditioning (PC) with postconditioning enhances the reduction in infarct size. Chronically instrumented rats were assigned to a 45-min (subset 1) or 60-min (subset 2) coronary occlusion followed by 24 h of reperfusion. In each subset, rats received no further intervention (control) or were preconditioned 24 h before occlusion (PC), post-conditioned at the onset of reperfusion following occlusion, or pre-conditioned and postconditioned without (PC + postconditioning) or with the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (3 mg/kg ip; PC + postconditioning + celecoxib) 10 min before postconditioning. Myocardial cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein expression and COX-2 activity (assessed as myocardial levels of PGE2) were measured 6 min after reperfusion in an additional five groups (control, PC, postconditioning, PC + postconditioning, and PC + postconditioning + celecoxib) subjected to a 45-min occlusion. PC alone reduced infarct size after a 45-min occlusion but not after a 60-min occlusion. Postconditioning alone did not reduce infarct size in either setting. However, the combination of late PC and postconditioning resulted in a robust infarct-sparing effect in both settings, suggesting additive cardioprotection. Celecoxib completely abrogated the infarct-sparing effect of the combined interventions in both settings. Late PC increased COX-2 protein expression and PGE2 content. PGE2 content (but not COX-2 protein) was further increased by the combination of both interventions, suggesting that postconditioning increases the activity of COX-2 induced by late PC. In conclusion, the combination of late PC and postconditioning produces additive protection, likely due to a postconditioning-induced enhancement of COX-2 activity.
myocardium; ischemia; infarct size; cyclooxygenase-2
It has been demonstrated that ischemic postconditioning (IPO) is capable of attenuating ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in the heart. However, the novel role of pharmacological postconditioning in the liver remains unclear. In this study, the hypothesis that diazoxide postconditioning reduces I/R-induced injury in rat liver was tested. Rats were assigned randomly to the sham-operated control, I/R (occlusion of the porta hepatis for 60 min, followed by a persistent reperfusion for 120 min), diazoxide ischemic postconditioning (DIPO; occlusion of the porta hepatis for 60 min, then treatment with diazoxide for 10 min reperfusion, followed by a persistent reperfusion for 110 min) or 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD)+DIPO (occlusion of the porta hepatis for 60 min, then treatment with diazoxide and 5-HD for 10 min reperfusion, followed by a persistent reperfusion for 110 min) groups. The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels were assayed. The expression levels of protein kinase c-ε (pkc-ε), cytochrome c (cyt-c), caspase-3 and bcl-2 protein were determined by western blotting. The serum levels of ALT and AST and expression levels of cyt-c and caspase-3 were significantly lower in the DIPO group (P<0.05). However, the protein expression levels of pkc-ε and bcl-2 were markedly increased in the DIPO group (P<0.05). 5-HD abrogated the protective effects of DIPO. The data of the present study provide the first evidence that DIPO protects the liver from I/R injury by opening the mitochondrial KATP channels, activating and upregulating pkc-ε and inhibiting the activation of the apoptotic pathway by decreasing the release of cyt-c and the expression of caspase-3 and increasing bcl-2 expression.
diazoxide; ischemic postconditioning; reperfusion injury; liver
Ischemic pre- and postconditioning protects the liver against ischemia/reperfusion injuries. The aim of the present study was to examine how ischemic pre- and postconditioning affects gene expression of hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) in liver tissue.
28 rats were randomized into five groups: control; ischemia/reperfusion; ischemic preconditioning (IPC); ischemic postconditioning (IPO); combined IPC and IPO. IPC consisted of 10 min of ischemia and 10 min of reperfusion. IPO consisted of three cycles of 30 sec. reperfusion and 30 sec. of ischemia.
HIF-1α mRNA expression was significantly increased after liver ischemia compared to controls (p = 0.010). HIF-1α mRNA expression was significantly lower in groups subjected to IPC or combined IPC and IPO when compared to the ischemia/reperfusion group (p = 0.002). VEGF-A mRNA expression increased in the ischemia/reperfusion or combined IPC and IPO groups when compared to the control group (p < 0.05).
Ischemic conditioning seems to prevent HIF-1α mRNA induction in the rat liver after ischemia and reperfusion. This suggests that the protective effects of ischemic conditioning do not involve the HIF-1 system. On the other hand, the magnitude of the HIF-1α response might be a marker for the degree of I/R injuries after liver ischemia. Further studies are needed to clarify this issue.
Transient forebrain or global ischemia induces neuronal death in vulnerable CA1 pyramidal cells with many features. A brief period of ischemia, i.e., ischemic preconditioning, or a modified reperfusion such as ischemic postconditioning, can afford robust protection of CA1 neurons against ischemic challenge. Therefore, we investigated the effect of ischemic preconditioning and postconditioning on neural cell apoptosis in rats. The result showed that both ischemic preconditioning and postconditioning may attenuate the neural cell death and DNA fragment in the hippocampal CA1 region. Further western blot study suggested that ischemic preconditioning and postconditioning down-regulates the protein of cleaved caspase-3, caspase-6, caspase-9 and Bax, but up-regulates the protein Bcl-2. These findings suggest that ischemic preconditioning and postconditioning have a neuroprotective role on global brain ischemia in rats through the same effect on inhibition of apoptosis.
brain ischemic injury; ischemic preconditioning; ischemic postconditioning; apoptosis; neuroprotection
Activated protein C (APC) is known to be beneficial on ischemia reperfusion injury in myocardium. However, the protection mechanism of APC is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects and possible mechanisms of APC on myocardial ischemic damage. Artificially ventilated anaesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a 30 min of left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion followed by 2 hr of reperfusion. Rats were randomly divided into four groups; Sham, I/R, APC preconditioning and postconditioning group. Myocardial infarct size, apoptosis index, the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, Bcl-2, Bax and cytochrome c genes and proteins were assessed. In APC-administrated rat hearts, regardless of the timing of administration, infarct size was consistently reduced compared to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) rats. APC improved the expression of ERK1/2 and anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 which were significantly reduced in the I/R rats. APC reduced the expression of pro-apoptotic genes, Bax and cytochrome c. These findings suggest that APC produces cardioprotective effect by preserving the expression of proteins and genes involved in anti-apoptotic pathways, regardless of the timing of administration.
Activated Protein C; Cardioprotection; Reperfusion Injury, ERK1/2; bcl-2-Associated X Protein
Background and Purpose
Remote ischemic postconditoning, a phenomenon in which brief ischemic stimuli of 1 organ protect another organ against an ischemic insult, has been demonstrated to protect the myocardium and adult brain in animal models. However, mediators of the protection and underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that remote limb ischemic postconditioning applied immediately after hypoxia provides neuroprotection in a rat model of neonatal hypoxia–ischemia (HI) by mechanisms involving activation of the opioid receptor/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway.
HI was induced in postnatal Day 10 rat pups by unilateral carotid ligation and 2 hours of hypoxia. Limb ischemic postconditioning was induced by 4 conditioning cycles of 10 minutes of ischemia and reperfusion on both hind limbs immediately after HI. The opioid antagonist naloxone, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin, or opioid agonist morphine was administered to determine underlying mechanisms. Infarct volume, brain atrophy, and neurological outcomes after HI were evaluated. Expression of phosphorylated Akt, Bax, and phosphorylated ERK1/2 was determined by Western blotting.
Limb ischemic postconditioning significantly reduced infarct volume at 48 hours and improved functional outcomes at 4 weeks after HI. Naloxone and wortmannin abrogated the postconditioning-mediated infarct-limiting effect. Morphine given immediately after hypoxia also decreased infarct volume. Furthermore, limb ischemic postconditioning recovered Akt activity and decreased Bax expression, whereas no differences in phosphorylated ERK1/2expression were observed.
Limb ischemic postconditioning protects against neonatal HI brain injury in rats by activating the opioid receptor/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway.
Akt; limb ischemic postconditioning; neonatal hypoxia–ischemia; opioid receptor
Background and Purpose
Normobaric hyperoxia (NBO) has been shown to exert neuroprotective effects against cerebral ischemia and restore penumbral oxygenation. Inspired by recent reports on postconditioning with intermittent occlusions of cerebral artery, we tested the hypothesis that intermittent NBO (iNBO) may cause oscillation of cerebral oxygenation, and thereby elicit repetitive interruptions to reperfusion, leading to attenuated ischemia/reperfusion damage after transient focal cerebral ischemia in rats.
Rats were subjected to 90 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion. During ischemia, animals received either air, iNBO (four cycles of 3 minutes of NBO and 2 minutes of air), continuous NBO (cNBO, 75 minutes), short NBO (sNBO, 18 minutes), or a combination of iNBO and cNBO. Infarct volume and neurologic score were evaluated at 24 and 72 hours after ischemia. Production of superoxide was assessed by the hydroethidine method, and the expression of Akt and phosphorylated Akt was examined by Western blot.
iNBO and cNBO had similar effect in reducing infarct volume and neurologic deficit at 24 hours after ischemia, while at 72 hours the neuroprotection exerted by iNBO was greater than cNBO. Combining iNBO and cNBO produced no greater protection, and sNBO failed to provide neuroprotection. Both iNBO and cNBO attenuated superoxide production. Importantly, prolonged activation of Akt was observed in the iNBO group, and neuroprotection by iNBO was partly eliminated by inhibition of Akt activation.
iNBO may represent a novel form of postconditioning, and this neuroprotection is likely mediated by attenuating superoxide generation and activation of the Akt pathway.
Akt; intermittent normobaric hyperoxia; neuroprotection; postconditioning
Lithium is a mood stabilizer shown to have neuroprotective effects against several chronic and acute neuronal injuries, including stroke. However, it is unknown whether lithium treatment protects against brain injury post-stroke in a rat model of permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) combined with transient bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (CCAo), a model that mimics human stroke with partial reperfusion. In addition, whether lithium treatment alters Akt activity as measured by the kinase activity assay has not been reported, although it is known to inhibit GSK3β activity. After stroke, Akt activity contributes to neuronal survival while GSK3β activity causes neuronal death. We report that a bolus of lithium injection at stroke onset robustly reduced infarct size measured by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining at 48 h post-stroke and inhibited cell death in the ischemic penumbra, but not in the ischemic core, as shown by TUNEL staining performed 24 h post-stroke. However, lithium treatment did not alter the reduction in Akt activity as measured by Akt kinase assay. We further showed that lithium did not alter phosphorylated GSK3β protein levels, or the degradation of β-catenin, a substrate of GSK3β, which is consistent with previous findings that long-term treatment is required for lithium to alter GSK3β phosphorylation. In summary, we show innovative data that lithium protects against stroke in a focal ischemia model with partial reperfusion, however, our results dispute the importance of Akt activity in the protective effects of lithium.
Lithium; Akt; Cerebral focal ischemia; GSK3β; β-catenin
Ischemic postconditioning refers to several transient reperfusion and ischemia cycles after an ischemic event and before a long duration of reperfusion. The procedure produces neuroprotective effects. The mechanisms underlying these neuroprotective effects are poorly understood. In this study, we found that most neurons in the CA1 region died after 10 minutes of ischemia and is followed by 72 hours of reperfusion. However, brain ischemic postconditioning (six cycles of 10 s/10 s reperfusion/re-occlusion) significantly reduced neuronal death. Significant up-regulation of Glutamate transporter-1 was found after 3, 6, 24, 72 hours of reperfusion. The present study showed that ischemic postconditioning decreases cell death and that upregulation of GLT-1 expression may play an important role on this effect.
ischemic postconditioning; brain ischemia reperfusion injury; neuroprotection; glutamate transporter 1(GLT-1)
Aging hearts are known to have diminished capacity to be protected against reoxygenation ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury provided by various cardioprotective regimens. In search of a more successful regimen, we have studied the response of aged hearts to preconditioning (PC) and postconditioning (POST) elicited by sphingosine or sphingosine 1-phosphate treatment.
An ex vivo rat heart model was used to study the ability of PC and POST to protect old hearts (27 month) against I/R injury generated by 40 minutes (min) of index ischemia followed by 40 min of reperfusion. The response to ischemic PC was reduced in 27 month old hearts relative to 3–6 month (young) hearts as noted by a poor recovery of left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP) upon reperfusion (45% vs. 74% in young hearts) and a large infarct size after 40 min of reperfusion (37% versus 8% in young hearts). PC with sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) was also poor in old hearts yielding only 49% recovery of LVDP and a 27% infarct size. In contrast, PC with sphingosine was unaffected by aging; the 78% recovery of LVDP and 8% infarct size were not different from young hearts. Ischemic POST was less affected by aging than ischemic PC, but the old hearts still experienced infarct sizes of 28%. POST of old hearts with S1P was also associated with a substantial infarct size (24%). However, POST of old hearts with sphingosine was superior to the other forms of POST in that it reduced the infarct size to 12%. S1P levels were found to be lower in old hearts which may contribute to the decreased effectiveness of ischemic PC and POST. Further, phospho-Akt levels and distribution were altered in response to cardioprotection in the old hearts. In conclusion, POST was less affected by aging than PC; and sphingosine is a uniquely effective agent for both PC and POST of aging hearts.
aging; Akt; cardioprotection; ischemia/reperfusion injury; preconditioning; postconditioning; sphingosine; sphingosine 1-phosphate
Ischemic postconditioning (IPCD) significantly reduces infarct size in healthy animals and protects the human heart. Because obesity is a major risk factor of cardiovascular diseases, the effects of IPCD were investigated in 8–10 weeks old leptin-deficient obese mice (ob/ob) and compared to wild-type C57BL/6J mice (WT). All animals underwent 30 min of coronary artery occlusion followed by 24 h of reperfusion associated or not with IPCD (6 cycles of 10 s occlusion/10 s reperfusion). Additional mice were sacrificed at 10 min of reperfusion for Western blotting. In WT mice, IPCD reduced infarct size by 58% (33±1% vs 14±3% for control and IDPC, respectively, p<0.05) but failed to induce cardioprotection in ob/ob mice (53±4% vs 56±5% for control and IPCD, respectively). In WT mice, IPCD significantly increased the phosphorylation of Akt (+77%), ERK 1/2 (+41%) and their common target p70S6K1 (+153% at Thr 389 and +57% at Thr 421/Ser 424). In addition, the phosphorylated AMPK to total AMPK ratio was also increased by IPCD in WT mice (+64%, p<0.05). This was accompanied by decreases in PTEN, MKP-3 and PP2C levels. In contrast, IPCD failed to increase the phosphorylation state of all these kinases in ob/ob mice and the level of the 3 phosphatases were significantly increased. Thus, although IPCD reduces myocardial infarct size in healthy animals, its cardioprotective effect vanishes with obesity. The lack of enhanced phosphorylation by IPCD of Akt, ERK 1/2, p70S6K1 and AMPK might partly explain the loss of cardioprotection in this experimental model of obese mice.
AMP-Activated Protein Kinases; metabolism; Animals; Disease Models, Animal; Dual Specificity Phosphatase 6; metabolism; Male; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mice, Obese; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1; metabolism; Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3; metabolism; Myocardial Infarction; etiology; metabolism; pathology; prevention & control; Myocardial Ischemia; complications; metabolism; pathology; therapy; Myocardial Reperfusion Injury; etiology; metabolism; pathology; prevention & control; Myocardium; enzymology; metabolism; pathology; Obesity; complications; metabolism; pathology; PTEN Phosphohydrolase; metabolism; Phosphoprotein Phosphatases; metabolism; Phosphorylation; Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt; metabolism; Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa; metabolism; Signal Transduction; Infarction; Obesity; postconditioning; kinase; phosphatase
A brief ischemic insult induces significant protection against subsequent massive ischemic events. The molecular mechanisms known as preconditioning (PC)-induced ischemic tolerance are not completely understood. We investigated whether kinetic changes of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 during reperfusion time-periods after PC were related to ischemic tolerance. Rats were given PC by occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCAO) for 10 min and sacrificed after the indicated time-periods of reperfusion (1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 18 or 24 h). In PC-treated rats, focal ischemia was induced by occlusion of MCA for 24 h and brain infarct volume was then studied to determine whether different reperfusion time influenced the damage. We report that the most significant protection against focal ischemia was obtained in rats with 8 h reperfusion after PC. Administration of indomethacin (10 mg/kg, oral) or rofecoxib (5 mg/kg, oral) 48 h prior to PC counteracted the effect of PC. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that COX-2 and HO-1 protein were induced in PC-treated rat brain, which was significantly inhibited by rofecoxib. Taken together, we concluded that the kinetic changes of COX-2 expression during the reperfusion period after PC might be partly responsible for ischemic tolerance.
Ischemic preconditioning; Stroke; Heme oxygenase; Cyclooxygenase