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1.  The Reno-Vascular A2B Adenosine Receptor Protects the Kidney from Ischemia 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(6):e137.
Acute renal failure from ischemia significantly contributes to morbidity and mortality in clinical settings, and strategies to improve renal resistance to ischemia are urgently needed. Here, we identified a novel pathway of renal protection from ischemia using ischemic preconditioning (IP).
Methods and Findings
For this purpose, we utilized a recently developed model of renal ischemia and IP via a hanging weight system that allows repeated and atraumatic occlusion of the renal artery in mice, followed by measurements of specific parameters or renal functions. Studies in gene-targeted mice for each individual adenosine receptor (AR) confirmed renal protection by IP in A1−/−, A2A−/−, or A3AR−/− mice. In contrast, protection from ischemia was abolished in A2BAR−/− mice. This protection was associated with corresponding changes in tissue inflammation and nitric oxide production. In accordance, the A2BAR-antagonist PSB1115 blocked renal protection by IP, while treatment with the selective A2BAR-agonist BAY 60–6583 dramatically improved renal function and histology following ischemia alone. Using an A2BAR-reporter model, we found exclusive expression of A2BARs within the reno-vasculature. Studies using A2BAR bone-marrow chimera conferred kidney protection selectively to renal A2BARs.
These results identify the A2BAR as a novel therapeutic target for providing potent protection from renal ischemia.
Using gene-targeted mice, Holger Eltzschig and colleagues identify the A2B adenosine receptor as a novel therapeutic target for providing protection from renal ischemia.
Editors' Summary
Throughout life, the kidneys perform the essential task of filtering waste products and excess water from the blood to make urine. Each kidney contains about a million small structures called nephrons, each of which contains a filtration unit consisting of a glomerulus (a small blood vessel) intertwined with a urine-collecting tube called a tubule. If the nephrons stop working for any reason, the rate at which the blood is filtered (the glomerular filtration rate or GFR) decreases and dangerous amounts of waste products such as creatinine build up in the blood. Most kidney diseases destroy the nephrons slowly over years, producing an irreversible condition called chronic renal failure. But the kidneys can also stop working suddenly because of injury or poisoning. One common cause of “acute” renal failure in hospital patients is ischemia—an inadequate blood supply to an organ that results in the death of part of that organ. Heart surgery and other types of surgery in which the blood supply to the kidneys is temporarily disrupted are associated with high rates of acute renal failure.
Why Was This Study Done?
Although the kidneys usually recover from acute failure within a few weeks if the appropriate intensive treatment (for example, dialysis) is provided, acute renal failure after surgery can be fatal. Thus, new strategies to protect the kidneys from ischemia are badly needed. Like other organs, the kidneys can be protected from lethal ischemia by pre-exposure to several short, nonlethal episodes of ischemia. It is not clear how this “ischemic preconditioning” increases renal resistance to ischemia but some data suggest that the protection of tissues from ischemia might involve a signaling molecule called extracellular adenosine. This molecule binds to proteins called receptors on the surface of cells and sends signals into them that change their behavior. There are four different adenosine receptor—A1AR, A2AAR, A2BAR, and A3AR—and in this study, the researchers use ischemic preconditioning as an experimental strategy to investigate which of these receptors protects the kidneys from ischemia in mice, information that might provide clues about how to protect the kidneys from ischemia.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers first asked whether ischemic preconditioning protects the kidneys of mice strains that lack the genes for individual adenosine receptors (A1AR−/−, A2AAR−/−, A2BAR−/−, and A3AR−/− mice) from subsequent ischemia. Using a hanging-weight system, they intermittently blocked the renal artery of these mice before exposing them to a longer period of renal ischemia. Twenty-four hours later, they assessed the renal function of the mice by measuring their blood creatinine levels, GFRs, and urine production. Ischemic preconditioning protected all the mice from ischemia-induced loss of kidney function except the A2BAR−/− mice. It also prevented ischemia-induced structural damage and inflammation in the kidneys of wild-type but not A2BAR−/− mice. These results suggest that A2BAR may help to protect the kidneys from ischemia. Consistent with this idea, ischemic preconditioning did not prevent ischemia-induced renal damage in wild-type mice treated with a compound that specifically blocks the activity of A2BAR. However, wild-type mice (but not A2BAR−/− mice) treated with an A2BAR agonist (which activates the receptor) retained their kidney function after renal ischemia without ischemic preconditioning. Finally, the researchers report that A2BAR has to be present on the blood vessels in the kidney to prevent ischemia-induced acute renal failure.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the protection of the kidneys from ischemia and the renal resistance to ischemia that is provided by ischemic preconditioning involve adenosine signaling through A2BAR. They also suggest that adenosine might provide protection against ischemia-induced damage by blocking inflammation in the kidney although other possible mechanisms of action need to be investigated. Importantly, these findings suggest that A2BAR might be a therapeutic target for the prevention of renal ischemia. However, results obtained in animals do not always reflect the situation in people, so before A2BAR agonists can be used to reduce the chances of patients developing acute renal failure after surgery, these results need confirming in people and the safety of A2BAR agonists need to be thoroughly investigated.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information on how the kidneys work and what can go wrong with them, including a list of links to further information about kidney disease
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has a page on acute kidney failure (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has pages on acute renal failure, ischemia, ischemic preconditioning, and adenosine (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC2504049  PMID: 18578565
2.  The Akt pathway is involved in rapid ischemic tolerance in focal ischemia in Rats 
Translational stroke research  2010;1(3):202-209.
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.
PMCID: PMC3144475  PMID: 21804899
rapid preconditioning; ischemic tolerance; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection; Akt
3.  Remote preconditioning, perconditioning, and postconditioning: a comparative study of their cardioprotective properties in rat models 
Clinics  2013;68(2):263-268.
Ischemia reperfusion injury is partly responsible for the high mortality associated with induced myocardial injury and the reduction in the full benefit of myocardial reperfusion. Remote ischemic preconditioning, perconditioning, and postconditioning have all been shown to be cardioprotective. However, it is still unknown which one is the most beneficial. To examine this issue, we used adult male Wistar rat ischemia reperfusion models to compare the cardioprotective effect of these three approaches applied on double-sided hind limbs.
The rats were randomly distributed to the following five groups: sham, ischemia reperfusion, remote preconditioning, remote perconditioning, and remote post-conditioning. The ischemia/reperfusion model was established by sternotomy followed by a 30-min ligation of the left coronary artery and a subsequent 3-h reperfusion. Remote conditioning was induced with three 5-min ischemia/5-min reperfusion cycles of the double-sided hind limbs using a tourniquet.
A lower early reperfusion arrhythmia score (1.50±0.97) was found in the rats treated with remote perconditioning compared to those in the ischemia reperfusion group (2.33±0.71). Meanwhile, reduced infarct size was also observed (15.27±5.19% in remote perconditioning, 14.53±3.45% in remote preconditioning, and 19.84±5.85% in remote post-conditioning vs. 34.47±7.13% in ischemia reperfusion, p<0.05), as well as higher expression levels of the apoptosis-relevant protein Bcl-2/Bax following global (ischemia/reperfusion) injury in in vivo rat heart models (1.255±0.053 in remote perconditioning, 1.463±0.290 in remote preconditioning, and 1.461±0.541 in remote post-conditioning vs. 1.003±0.159 in ischemia reperfusion, p<0.05).
Three remote conditioning strategies implemented with episodes of double-sided hind limb ischemia/reperfusion have similar therapeutic potential for cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury, and remote perconditioning has a greater ability to prevent reperfusion arrhythmia.
PMCID: PMC3584272  PMID: 23525325
Cardioprotective Property; Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury; Models
4.  The Protective Effects of Ischemic Postconditioning against Stroke: From Rapid to Delayed and Remote Postconditioning 
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.
PMCID: PMC3204606  PMID: 22053169
Postconditioning; preconditioning; stroke; cerebral ischemia; focal ischemia; neuroprotection
5.  The Chronic Protective Effects of Limb Remote Preconditioning and the Underlying Mechanisms Involved in Inflammatory Factors in Rat Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30892.
We recently demonstrated that limb remote preconditioning (LRP) protects against focal ischemia measured 2 days post-stroke. Here, we studied whether LRP provides long-term protection and improves neurological function. We also investigated whether LRP transmits its protective signaling via the afferent nerve pathways from the preconditioned limb to the ischemic brain and whether inflammatory factors are involved in LRP, including the novel galectin-9/Tim-3 inflammatory cell signaling pathway, which induces cell death in lymphocytes. LRP in the left hind femoral artery was performed immediately before stroke. LRP reduced brain injury size both at 2 days and 60 days post-stroke and improved behavioral outcomes for up to 2 months. The sensory nerve inhibitors capsaicin and hexamethonium, a ganglion blocker, abolished the protective effects of LRP. In addition, LRP inhibited edema formation and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability measured 2 days post-stroke. Western blot and immunostaining analysis showed that LRP inhibited protein expression of both galectin-9 and T-cell immunoglobulin domain and mucin domain 3 (Tim-3), which were increased after stroke. In addition, LRP decreased iNOS and nitrotyrosine protein expression after stroke. In conclusion, LRP executes long-term protective effects against stroke and may block brain injury by inhibiting activities of the galectin-9/Tim-3 pathway, iNOS, and nitrotyrosine.
PMCID: PMC3275571  PMID: 22347410
6.  Preconditionin effects of dexmedetomidine on myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats 
Background: Preconditioning might protect the myocardium against ischemia/ reperfusion injury by reducing infarct size and preventing arrhythmias. Dexmedetomidine (DEX) is a highly selective α2-agonist used for sedoanalgesia in daily anesthetic practice. The cardioprotective effects of DEX on infarct size and on the incidence of arrhythmias observed after regional ischemia/reperfusion injury in vivo have not been reported.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether DEX exhibits a preconditioning effect and reduces infarct size and the incidence and duration of arrhythmias in a regional cardiac ischemia/reperfusion model in rats.
Methods: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with sodium thiopental and mechanically ventilated (0.9 mL/100 g at 60 strokes/min) through a cannula inserted into the trachea after tracheotomy. Cardiac ischemia was then produced by ligating the left main coronary artery for 30 minutes, followed by a reperfusion period of 120 minutes. Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were monitored and echocardiograms (ECGs) were performed. Arrhythmia was scored based on incidence and duration. The animals were randomly divided into 3 groups. The ischemic preconditioning (IPC) group underwent 5 minutes of ischemia followed by 5 minutes of reperfusion before the 30-minute ischemia/120-minute reperfusion period. In the DEX group, intraperitoneal (IP) DEX 1 mL (100 μg/kg) was administered 30 minutes before the ischemia/ reperfusion period. In the control group, IP saline 1 mL was administered 30 minutes before the ischemia/reperfusion period. After reperfusion, the heart was excised, demarcated with saline and ethanol to identify the occluded and nonoccluded myocardium, and cut into slices ~2 mm thick, that were then stained and placed between 2 glass plates. The risk zone and the infarct zone were compared between groups. The investigator assessing the infarcts was blinded to the study group.
Results: Twenty-one adult (aged 4-6 months) male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 280 to 360 g were included in the study; 7 rats were assigned to each group. BP, HR, and ECG readings were not significantly different between groups and did not change during the study. Arrythmias occurred during ischemia and reperfusion in all groups. The duration of the arrhythmias was significantly shorter and the arrhythmia score was significantly lower in the IPC group (all, P<0.05), compared with the control group; however, they were not significantly different in the DEX group. During the ischemic period, duration of ventricular tachycardia (VT) and ventricular premature contractions (VPC) in the DEX group was significantly longer than that observed in the IPC group (all, P<0.05). The duration of VPC was also significantly shorter than that observed in the control group (both, P<0.05). Duration of VT during the reperfusion period in the DEX group was significantly longer than that observed in both IPC and control groups (both, P<0.05). The mean (SD) percentage of damage was significantly lower in the IPC group (44.1% [2.0%]) and the DEX group (26.7% [2.0%]) compared with the control group (69.0% [3.0%]; both, P<0.05). The percentage of damage in the DEX group was also significantly lower compared with the IPC group (P<0.05).
Conclusions: This small, experimental in vivo study found that DEX was associated with reduced infarct size in ischemia/reperfusion injury in regional ischemia in this rat model but had no effect on the incidence of arrhythmias. Future studies are needed to clarify these findings.
PMCID: PMC3969917  PMID: 24692794
dexmedetomidine; preconditioning; cardiac ischemia/reperfusion
7.  Nitric Oxide Donors Induce Late Preconditioning Against Myocardial Stunning and Infarction in Conscious Rabbits via an Antioxidant-Sensitive Mechanism 
Circulation research  1998;83(1):73-84.
The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that the cardioprotective effects of the late phase of ischemic preconditioning (PC) can be mimicked by treatment with NO donors. In phase I (studies of myocardial stunning), conscious rabbits underwent a sequence of six 4-minute coronary occlusion/4-minute reperfusion cycles for 3 consecutive days (days 1, 2, and 3). In group I (controls, n=6), the total deficit of systolic wall thickening (WTh) after the sixth reperfusion was reduced by 54% on days 2 and 3 compared with day 1 (P<0.05), indicating a late PC effect against myocardial stunning. When rabbits were given the NO donors diethylenetriamine/NO (DETA/NO, 0.1 mg/kg IV, 4 times [group II, n=5]) or S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP, 2.5 µg • kg−1 • min−1 IV for 75 minutes [group III, n=5]) 24 hours before the first sequence of occlusion/reperfusion cycles, the deficit of WTh on day 1 was 60% (group II) and 54% (group III) less than that observed in controls (P<0.05 for both). In both groups II and III, there was no further improvement in the deficit of WTh on days 2 and 3 compared with day 1. The protective effect of DETA/NO was completely abrogated when this agent was given in conjunction with the ONOO− and •OH scavenger mercaptopropionyl glycine (MPG) (group IV, n=5). In phase II (studies of myocardial infarction), conscious rabbits underwent a 30-minute coronary occlusion followed by 3 days of reperfusion. When rabbits were preconditioned 24 hours earlier with six 4-minute occlusion/4-minute reperfusion cycles, infarct size was reduced by 43% (33.2±2.7% versus 58.3 ±4.1% of the region at risk in controls, P<0.05), indicating a late PC effect against myocardial infarction. When rabbits were pretreated with DETA/NO (group VII, n=8) or SNAP (group IX, n=7) 24 hours before the 30-minute occlusion, infarct size was reduced by a similar degree (29.3 ±3.6% and 32.0±3.3% of the region at risk, respectively; P<0.05 versus controls). The degree of protection could not be increased by doubling the dose of DETA/NO (group VIII, n=5). Coadministration of MPG completely abrogated the infarct-sparing action of DETA/NO (group X, n=7). Taken together, these results demonstrate that in conscious rabbits the administration of 2 structurally unrelated NO donors induces protection 24 hours later against both reversible (stunning) and irreversible (infarction) ischemia/reperfusion injury and that the magnitude of this protection is indistinguishable from that observed during the late phase of ischemic PC. The fact that the late phase of ischemic PC can be mimicked by NO donors provides direct evidence that NO in itself is sufficient to elicit this cardioprotective mechanism. The fact that NO donor-induced late PC was abrogated by MPG indicates that the mechanism whereby NO induces this phenomenon involves the generation of oxidant species, possibly ONOO− and/or OH. Since a relatively brief treatment with hemodynamically inactive doses of NO donors can induce long-lasting protective effects, these agents could be useful for preconditioning the heart in patients.
PMCID: PMC3701311  PMID: 9670920
myocardial ischemia; myocardial reperfusion; diethylenetriamine/nitric oxide; S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine
8.  Repetitive hypoxia extends endogenous neurovascular protection for stroke 
Annals of neurology  2011;69(6):975-985.
Brief systemic hypoxia protects the rodent brain from subsequent ischemic injury, although the protection wanes within days. We hypothesized that the duration of ischemic tolerance could be extended from days to months by repeated intermittent hypoxia of varying magnitude and duration.
Infarction volumes following a 60-min transient middle cerebral artery occlusion were determined in adult male mice 2 days through 8 wks after completion of a 2-week repetitive hypoxic preconditioning (RHP) protocol. Separate cohorts were studied for the protective effects of RHP on postischemic and cytokine-induced cerebrovascular inflammation, and for potential deleterious effects of the RHP stimulus itself.
RHP protection against transient focal stroke persisted for 8 weeks. Leukocyte adherence to cortical venules was attenuated in response to stroke, as well as following TNF-α administration, indicating that reductions in postischemic inflammation were not secondary to smaller infarct volumes. RHP reduced post-stroke leukocyte diapedesis concomitant with a long-lasting downregulation of endothelial adhesion molecule mRNAs, and also reduced postischemic blood-brain barrier permeability to endogenous IgG. RHP was without effect on hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell viability, only transiently elevated hematocrit, and did not affect the magnitude of CBF during and after ischemia.
Taken together, our findings reveal a novel form of epigenetic neurovascular plasticity characterized by a prominent anti-inflammatory phenotype that provides protection against stroke many weeks longer than previously established windows of preconditioning-induced tolerance. Translating these endogenous protective mechanisms into therapeutics could afford sustained periods of cerebroprotection in subpopulations of individuals at identified risk for stroke.
PMCID: PMC3117913  PMID: 21437933
9.  Delayed Postconditioning Protects against Focal Ischemic Brain Injury in Rats 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(12):e3851.
We and others have reported that rapid ischemic postconditioning, interrupting early reperfusion after stroke, reduces infarction in rats. However, its extremely short therapeutic time windows, from a few seconds to minutes after reperfusion, may hinder its clinical translation. Thus, in this study we explored if delayed postconditioning, which is conducted a few hours after reperfusion, offers protection against stroke.
Methods and Results
Focal ischemia was generated by 30 min occlusion of bilateral common carotid artery (CCA) combined with permanent occlusion of middle cerebral artery (MCA); delayed postconditioning was performed by repetitive, brief occlusion and release of the bilateral CCAs, or of the ipsilateral CCA alone. As a result, delayed postconditioning performed at 3h and 6h after stroke robustly reduced infarct size, with the strongest protection achieved by delayed postconditioning with 6 cycles of 15 min occlusion/15 min release of the ipsilateral CCA executed from 6h. We found that this delayed postconditioning provided long-term protection for up to two months by reducing infarction and improving outcomes of the behavioral tests; it also attenuated reduction in 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)-uptake therefore improving metabolism, and reduced edema and blood brain barrier leakage. Reperfusion in ischemic stroke patients is usually achieved by tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) application, however, t-PA's side effect may worsen ischemic injury. Thus, we tested whether delayed postconditioning counteracts the exacerbating effect of t-PA. The results showed that delayed postconditioning mitigated the worsening effect of t-PA on infarction.
Delayed postconditioning reduced ischemic injury after focal ischemia, which opens a new research avenue for stroke therapy and its underlying protective mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2588536  PMID: 19066627
10.  Neuroprotective effect of ischemic preconditioning in focal cerebral infarction: relationship with upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor 
Neural Regeneration Research  2014;9(11):1117-1121.
Neuroprotection by ischemic preconditioning has been confirmed by many studies, but the precise mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, we performed cerebral ischemic preconditioning in rats by simulating a transient ischemic attack twice (each a 20-minute occlusion of the middle cerebral artery) before inducing focal cerebral infarction (2 hour occlusion-reperfusion in the same artery). We also explored the mechanism underlying the neuroprotective effect of ischemic preconditioning. Seven days after occlusion-reperfusion, tetrazolium chloride staining and immunohistochemistry revealed that the infarct volume was significantly smaller in the group that underwent preconditioning than in the model group. Furthermore, vascular endothelial growth factor immunoreactivity was considerably greater in the hippocampal CA3 region of preconditioned rats than model rats. Our results suggest that the protective effects of ischemic preconditioning on focal cerebral infarction are associated with upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor.
PMCID: PMC4146099  PMID: 25206770
nerve regeneration; brain injury; transient ischemic attack; ischemic preconditioning; ischemia-reperfusion; focal cerebral infarction; infarct volume ratio; vascular endothelial growth factor; protection; mechanism; neural regeneration
11.  Redox Signaling Triggers Protection During The Reperfusion Rather Than The Ischemic Phase Of Preconditioning 
Basic research in cardiology  2008;103(4):378-384.
In ischemic preconditioning (IPC) brief ischemia/reperfusion renders the heart resistant to infarction from any subsequent ischemic insult. Protection results from binding of surface receptors by ligands released during the preconditioning ischemia. The downstream pathway involves redox signaling as IPC will not protect in the presence of a free radical scavenger. To determine when the redox signaling occurs, five groups of isolated rabbit hearts were studied. All hearts underwent 30 min of coronary branch occlusion and 2 h of reperfusion. IPC groups were subjected to 5 min of regional ischemia followed by 10 min of reperfusion prior to the 30-min coronary occlusion. The Control group had only the 30-min occlusion and 2-h reperfusion. The second group had IPC alone. The third group was also preconditioned, but the free radical scavenger N-2-mercaptopropionyl glycine (MPG, 300 µM) was infused during the 10-min reperfusion and therefore was present in the myocardium in the distribution of the snared coronary artery during the entire reperfusion phase and also during the subsequent 30-min ischemia. In another preconditioned group MPG was added to the perfusate before the preconditioning ischemia and therefore was present in the tissue only during the preconditioning ischemia and then was washed out during reperfusion. In the fifth group MPG was added to the perfusate for only the last 5 min of the preconditioning reperfusion and therefore was present in the tissue during the last minutes of the reperfusion phase and the 30 min of ischemia. Infarct size and risk size were measured by triphenyltetrazolium staining and fluorescent microspheres, resp. IPC reduced infarct size from 31.3±2.7% of the ischemic zone in control hearts to only 8.4±1.9%. MPG completely blocked IPC’s protection in the 3rd group (39.4±2.8%) but did not affect its protection in groups 4 (8.1±1.5%) or 5 (7.8±1.1%). Hence redox signaling occurs during the reperfusion phase of IPC.
PMCID: PMC2670099  PMID: 18347834
12.  Effect of ischemic and pharmacological preconditioning of lower limb muscle tissue on tissue oxygenation measured by near-infrared spectroscopy – a pilot study 
BMC Anesthesiology  2014;14:54.
Ischemic or volatile anesthetic preconditioning is defined as tissue protection from impending ischemic cell damage by repetitive short periods of tissue exposure to ischemia or volatile anesthetics. Objective of this study was to elucidate, if ischemic preconditioning and pharmacological preconditioning with sevoflurane have effects on muscle tissue oxygen saturation in patients undergoing surgical revascularization of the lower limb.
In this prospective randomized pilot study ischemic and pharmacological (sevoflurane) preconditioning was performed in 40 patients with lower limb arterial occlusive disease undergoing surgical revascularization. Sevoflurane preconditioning was performed in one group (N = 20) by repetitive application of sevoflurane for six minutes interspersed by six minutes of washout. Thereafter, ischemic preconditioning was performed in all patients (N = 40) by repetitive clamping of the femoral artery for six minutes interspersed by six minutes of reperfusion. The effect of both procedures on leg muscle tissue oxygen saturation (rSO2) was measured by near-infrared spectroscopy during both procedures and during surgery and reperfusion (INVOS® 5100C Oxymeter with Small Adult SomaSensor® SAFB-SM, Somanetics, Troy, Michigan, USA).
Repetitive clamping and reperfusion of the femoral artery resulted in significant cyclic decrease and increase of muscle rSO2 (p < 0.0001). Pharmacological preconditioning with sevoflurane resulted in a faster and higher increase of rSO2 during postoperative reperfusion (Maximal 111% baseline ± 20 versus 103% baseline ± 14, p = 0.008) consistent with an additional effect of pharmacological preconditioning on leg perfusion.
Ischemic preconditioning of lower limb muscle tissue and pharmacological preconditioning with sevoflurane have an effect on tissue oxygenation in patients with lower limb occlusive arterial disease.
Trial registration
The trial has been registrated at, Trial Number: NCT02038062 at 14 January 2014.
PMCID: PMC4134469  PMID: 25132803
Ischemic preconditioning; Sevoflurane; Surgical revascularization; Arterial occlusive disease
13.  Clinical Application of Preconditioning and Postconditioning to Achieve Neuroprotection 
Translational stroke research  2013;4(1):19-24.
Ischemic conditioning is a form of endogenous protection induced by transient, subcritical ischemia in a tissue. Organs with high sensitivity to ischemia, such as the heart, the brain, and spinal cord represent the most critical and potentially promising targets for potential therapeutic applications of ischemic conditioning. Numerous preclinical investigations have systematically studied the molecular pathways and potential benefits of both pre- and post-conditioning with promising results. The purpose of this review is to summarize the present knowledge on cerebral pre-and post-conditioning, with an emphasis in the clinical application of these forms of neuroprotection.
A systematic Medline search for the terms preconditioning and postconditioning was performed. Publications related to the nervous system and to human applications were selected and analyzed.
Pre-and post-conditioning appear to provide similar levels of neuroprotection. The preconditioning window of benefit can be subdivided into early and late effects, depending on whether the effect appears immediately after the sublethal stress or with a delay of days. In general early effects have been associated post-translational modification of critical proteins (membrane receptors, mitochondrial respiratory chain) while late effects are the result of gene up-or down-regulation. Transient ischemic attacks appear to represent a form of clinically relevant preconditioning by inducing ischemic tolerance in the brain and reducing the severity of subsequent strokes. Remote forms of ischemic pre- and post-conditioning have been more commonly used in clinical studies, as the remote application reduces the risk of injuring the target tissue for which protection is pursued. Limb transient ischemia is the preferred method of induction of remote conditioning with evidence supporting its safety. Clinical studies in a variety of populations at risk of central nervous damage including carotid disease, cervical myelopathy and subarachnoid hemorrhage have shown improvement in surrogate markers of injury.
Promising preclinical and early clinical studies noting improvement in surrogate markers of central nervous injury after the use of remote pre- and post-conditioning treatments demand follow-up systematic investigations to address effectiveness. Challenges in the application of these techniques to pressing clinical cerebrovascular disease ought to be overcome through careful, well-designed, translational investigations.
PMCID: PMC4224593  PMID: 24323188
Preconditioning; Postconditioning; Ischemia; Reperfusion Injury; Neuroprotection; Brain injury
14.  Ischemic tolerance modulates TRAIL expression and its receptors and generates a neuroprotected phenotype 
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(7):e1331-.
TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL), a member of the TNF superfamily released by microglia, appears to be involved in the induction of apoptosis following focal brain ischemia. Indeed, brain ischemia is associated with progressive enlargement of damaged areas and prominent inflammation. As ischemic preconditioning reduces inflammatory response to brain ischemia and ameliorates brain damage, the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the role of TRAIL and its receptors in stroke and ischemic preconditioning and to propose, by modulating TRAIL pathway, a new therapeutic strategy in stroke. In order to achieve this aim a rat model of harmful focal ischemia, obtained by subjecting animals to 100 min of transient occlusion of middle cerebral artery followed by 24 h of reperfusion and a rat model of ischemic preconditioning in which the harmful ischemia was preceded by 30 mins of tMCAO, which represents the preconditioning protective stimulus, were used. Results show that the neuroprotection elicited by ischemic preconditioning occurs through both upregulation of TRAIL decoy receptors and downregulation of TRAIL itself and of its death receptors. As a counterproof, immunoneutralization of TRAIL in tMCAO animals resulted in significant restraint of tissue damage and in a marked functional recovery. Our data shed new light on the mechanisms that propagate ongoing neuronal damage after ischemia in the adult mammalian brain and provide new molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. Strategies aimed to repress the death-inducing ligands TRAIL, to antagonize the death receptors, or to activate the decoy receptors open new perspectives for the treatment of stroke.
PMCID: PMC4123080  PMID: 25032854
15.  Redox Signaling At Reperfusion Is Required For Protection From Ischemic Preconditioning But Not From A Direct PKC Activator 
Basic research in cardiology  2007;103(1):54-59.
Redox signaling prior to a lethal ischemic insult is an important step in triggering the protected state in ischemic preconditioning. When the preconditioned heart is reperfused a second sequence of signal transduction events, the mediator pathway, occurs which is believed to inhibit mitochondrial permeability transition pore formation that normally destroys mitochondria in much of the reperfused tissue. Prominent among the mediator pathway's events is activation of phosphatidylinositol 3- kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Recently it was found that both activation of PKC and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at the time of reperfusion are required for protection in preconditioned hearts. To establish their relative order we tested whether ROS formation at reperfusion is required in hearts protected by direct activation of PKC at reperfusion. Isolated rabbit hearts were exposed to 30 min of regional ischemia and 2 h of reperfusion. Preconditioned hearts received 5 min of global ischemia and 10 min of reperfusion prior to the index ischemia. Another group of preconditioned hearts was exposed to 300μM of the ROS scavenger N-(2-mercaptopropionyl) glycine (MPG) for 20 min starting 5 min prior to reperfusion. Infarct size was measured by triphenyltetrazolium staining. Preconditioning reduced infarct size from 36±2% of the ischemic zone in control hearts to only 18±2%. MPG during early reperfusion completely blocked preconditioning's protection (32±3% infarction). MPG given in the same dose and schedule to non-preconditioned hearts had no effect on infarct size. In the last group phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) (0.05 nM) was given to non-preconditioned hearts from 1 min before to 5 min after reperfusion in addition to MPG administered as in the other groups. MPG did not block protection from an infusion of PMA as infarct size was only 9±2% of the risk zone. We conclude that while redox signaling during the first few minutes of reperfusion is an essential component of preconditioning's protective mechanism, this step occurs upstream of PKC activation.
PMCID: PMC2660167  PMID: 17999029
16.  Minocycline-Preconditioned Neural Stem Cells Enhance Neuroprotection after Ischemic Stroke in Rats 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2012;32(10):3462-3473.
Transplantation of neural stem cells (NSCs) offers a novel therapeutic strategy for stroke; however, massive grafted-cell death following transplantation, possibly due to a hostile host-brain environment, lessens the effectiveness of this approach. Here, we have investigated whether reprogramming NSCs with minocycline, a broadly-used antibiotic also known to possess cytoprotective properties, enhances survival of grafted cells and promotes neuroprotection in ischemic stroke. NSCs harvested from the subventricular zone of fetal rats were preconditioned with minocycline in vitro and transplanted into rat brains 6 h after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Histological and behavioral tests were examined from days 0–28 after stroke. For in vitro experiments, NSCs were subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation and reoxygenation. Cell viability and antioxidant gene expression were analyzed. Minocycline preconditioning protected the grafted NSCs from ischemic reperfusion injury via up-regulation of Nrf2 and Nrf2-regulated antioxidant genes. Additionally, preconditioning with minocycline induced the NSCs to release paracrine factors, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor, nerve growth factor, glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor. Moreover, transplantation of the minocycline-preconditioned NSCs significantly attenuated infarct size and improved neurological performance, compared with non-preconditioned NSCs. Minocycline-induced neuroprotection was abolished by transfecting the NSCs with Nrf2-small interfering RNA before transplantation. Thus, preconditioning with minocycline, which reprograms NSCs to tolerate oxidative stress after ischemic reperfusion injury and to express higher levels of paracrine factors through Nrf2 up-regulation, is a simple and safe approach to enhance the effectiveness of transplantation therapy in ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC3315362  PMID: 22399769
17.  Ischemic preconditioning reduces ischemic brain injury by suppressing nuclear factor kappa B expression and neuronal apoptosis☆ 
Neural Regeneration Research  2013;8(7):633-638.
Ischemic stroke induces a series of complex pathophysiological events including blood-brain barrier disruption, inflammatory response and neuronal apoptosis. Previous studies demonstrate that ischemic preconditioning attenuates ischemic brain damage via inhibiting blood-brain barrier disruption and the inflammatory response. Rats underwent transient (15 minutes) occlusion of the bilateral common carotid artery with 48 hours of reperfusion, and were subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion. This study explored whether ischemic preconditioning could reduce ischemic brain injury and relevant molecular mechanisms by inhibiting neuronal apoptosis. Results found that at 72 hours following cerebral ischemia, myeloperoxidase activity was enhanced, malondialdehyde levels increased, and neurological function was obviously damaged. Simultaneously, neuronal apoptosis increased, and nuclear factor-κB and cleaved caspase-3 expression was significantly increased in ischemic brain tissues. Ischemic preconditioning reduced the cerebral ischemia-induced inflammatory response, lipid peroxidation, and neurological function injury. In addition, ischemic preconditioning decreased nuclear factor-κB p65 and cleaved caspase-3 expression. These results suggested that ischemic preconditioning plays a protective effect against ischemic brain injury by suppressing the inflammatory response, reducing lipid peroxidation, and neuronal apoptosis via inhibition of nuclear factor-κB and cleaved caspase-3 expression.
PMCID: PMC4145988  PMID: 25206708
neural regeneration; brain injury; ischemic preconditioning; neural cells; apoptosis; nuclear factor kappa-B; cleaved caspase-3; grants-supported paper; photographs-containing paper; neuroregeneration
18.  New technique of local ischemic preconditioning induction without repetitive aortic cross-clamping in cardiac surgery 
Several studies have demonstrated that local ischemic preconditioning can reduce myocardial ischemia–reperfusion injury in cardiac surgery patients; however, preconditioning has not become a standard cardioprotective intervention, primarily because of the increased risk of atheroembolism during repetitive aortic cross-clamping. In the present study, we aimed to describe and validate a novel technique of preconditioning induction.
Patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (12 women and 78 men; mean age, 56 ± 11 years) were randomized into 3 groups: (1) Controls (n = 30), (2) Perfusion (n = 30), and (3) Preconditioning (n = 30). All patients were operated under cardiopulmonary bypass using normothermic blood cardioplegia. Preconditioning was induced by subjecting the hemodynamically unloaded heart to 2 cycles of 3 min of ischemia and 3 min of reperfusion with normokalemic blood prior to cardioplegia. In the Perfusion group, the heart perfusion remained unaffected for 12 min. Troponin I (TnI) levels were analyzed before surgery, and 12, 24, 48 h, and 7 days after surgery. The secondary endpoints included the cardiac index, plasma natriuretic peptide level, and postoperative use of inotropes.
Preconditioning resulted in a significant reduction in the TnI level on the 7th postoperative day only (0.10 ± 0.05 and 0.33 ± 0.88 ng/ml in Preconditioning and Perfusion groups, respectively, P < 0.05). In addition, cardiac index was significantly higher in the Preconditioning group than in the Control and Perfusion groups just after weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass. The number of patients requiring inotropic support with ≥ 2 agents after surgery was significantly lower in the Preconditioning and Perfusion group than in the Control group (P < 0.05). No complications of the procedure were recorded in the Preconditioning group.
The preconditioning procedure described can be performed safely in cardiac surgery patients. The application of this technique of preconditioning was associated with certain benefits, including improved left ventricular function after weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass and a reduced need for inotropic support. However, the infarct-limiting effect of preconditioning in the early postoperative period was not evident. The procedure does not involve repetitive aortic cross-clamping, thus avoiding possible embolic complications.
PMCID: PMC4307141  PMID: 25608502
Local ischemic Preconditioning; Myocardial ischemia–reperfusion; Cardioplegia; Cardiopulmonary bypass; Troponin I; Cardiac index
19.  Sphingosine kinase 2 mediates cerebral preconditioning and protects mouse brain against ischemic injury 
Background and purpose
Cerebral preconditioning provides insights into endogenous mechanisms that protect the brain from ischemic injury. Hypoxia and the anesthetic isoflurane are powerful preconditioning agents. Recent data show that sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor stimulation improves outcome in rodent models of stroke. Endogenous S1P levels are controlled by the expression and activity of sphingosine kinases (SPK). We hypothesize that SPK up-regulation mediates preconditioning induced by isoflurane and hypoxia and reduces ischemic injury.
Male wild-type C57BL/J, SPK1−/− and SPK2−/− mice were exposed to isoflurane (IsoPC) or hypoxia preconditioning (HPC) before transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Infarct volume and neurological outcome were measured 24 hours later. SPK inhibitors (SKI-II and ABC294640) were used to test the involvement of SPK2. Expressions of SPK1, SPK2 and HIF1α were determined. Primary cultures of mouse cortical neurons were exposed to isoflurane before glutamate- or hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death.
IsoPC and HPC significantly reduced infarct volume and improved neurological outcome in wild-type and SPK1−/− mice, but not in SPK2−/− mice. Pretreatment with SKI-II or ABC294640 abolished the IsoPC-induced tolerance. Western blot showed a rapid and sustained increase in SPK2 level, whereas SPK1 level was similar between preconditioned mice and controls. HIF1α was up-regulated in wild-type IsoPC mice, but not in SPK2−/−. IsoPC protected primary neurons against cell death, which was abolished in ABC294640-treated cells.
Applying genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrate that neuronal SPK2 isoform plays an important role in cerebral preconditioning.
PMCID: PMC3246529  PMID: 21980199
Sphingosine kinase 2; preconditioning; isoflurane; hypoxia; cerebral ischemia; neurons; cell death
20.  Effects of the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor nimesulide on cerebral infarction and neurological deficits induced by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat 
Previous studies suggest that the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor nimesulide has a remarkable protective effect against different types of brain injury including ischemia. Since there are no reports on the effects of nimesulide on permanent ischemic stroke and because most cases of human stroke are caused by permanent occlusion of cerebral arteries, the present study was conducted to assess the neuroprotective efficacy of nimesulide on the cerebral infarction and neurological deficits induced by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) in the rat.
Ischemia was induced by permanent occlusion of the middle cerebral artery in rats, via surgical insertion of a nylon filament into the internal carotid artery. Infarct volumes (cortical, subcortical and total) and functional recovery, assessed by neurological score evaluation and rotarod performance test, were performed 24 h after pMCAO. In initial experiments, different doses of nimesulide (3, 6 and 12 mg/kg; i.p) or vehicle were administered 30 min before pMCAO and again at 6, 12 and 18 h after stroke. In later experiments we investigated the therapeutic time window of protection of nimesulide by delaying its first administration 0.5–4 h after the ischemic insult.
Repeated treatments with nimesulide dose-dependently reduced cortical, subcortical and total infarct volumes as well as the neurological deficits and motor impairment resulting from permanent ischemic stroke, but only the administration of the highest dose (12 mg/kg) was able to significantly (P < 0.01) diminish infarct volume. The lower doses failed to significantly reduce infarction but showed a beneficial effect on neurological function. Nimesulide (12 mg/kg) not only reduced infarct volume but also enhanced functional recovery when the first treatment was given up to 2 h after stroke.
These data show that nimesulide protects against permanent focal cerebral ischemia, even with a 2 h post-treatment delay. These findings have important implications for the therapeutic potential of using COX-2 inhibitors in the treatment of stroke.
PMCID: PMC546225  PMID: 15656909
21.  Isoflurane preconditioning protects neurons from male and female mice against oxygen and glucose deprivation and is modulated by estradiol only in neurons from female mice 
Neuroscience  2011;199:368-374.
The volatile anesthetic, isoflurane, can protect the brain if administered before an insult such as an ischemic stroke. However, this protective “preconditioning” response to isoflurane is specific to males, with females showing an increase in brain damage following isoflurane preconditioning and subsequent focal cerebral ischemia. Innate cell sex is emerging as an important player in neuronal cell death but its role in the sexually dimorphic response to isoflurane preconditioning has not been investigated. We used an in vitro model of isoflurane preconditioning and ischemia (oxygen and glucose deprivation, OGD) to test the hypotheses that innate cell sex dictates the response to isoflurane preconditioning and that 17β-estradiol attenuates any protective effect from isoflurane preconditioning in neurons via nuclear estrogen receptors. Sex-segregated neuron cultures derived from postnatal day 0 to 1 mice were exposed to either 0% or 3% isoflurane preconditioning for 1 hour. In separate experiments, 17β-estradiol and the non-selective estrogen receptor antagonist ICI 182,780 were added 24 hours before preconditioning and then removed at the end of the preconditioning period. Twenty-three hours after preconditioning, all cultures underwent 2 hours of OGD. Twenty-four hours following OGD, cell viability was quantified using calcein-AM fluorescence. We observed that isoflurane preconditioning increased cell survival following subsequent OGD regardless of innate cell sex, but that the presence of 17β-estradiol before and during isoflurane preconditioning attenuated this protection only in female neurons independent of nuclear estrogen receptors. We also found that independent of preconditioning treatment, female neurons were less sensitive to OGD compared to male neurons and that transient treatment with 17β-estradiol protected both male and female neurons from subsequent OGD. More studies are needed to determine how cell type, cell sex and sex steroids like 17β-estradiol may impact on anesthetic preconditioning and subsequent ischemic outcomes in the brain.
PMCID: PMC3237742  PMID: 21985935
Estradiol; isoflurane; neurons; preconditioning; sex differences
22.  Cardioprotection by postconditioning in conscious rats is limited to coronary occlusions <45 min 
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.
PMCID: PMC3741072  PMID: 16815986
myocardium; ischemia; infarct size; preconditioning
23.  Direct preconditioning of cultured chick ventricular myocytes. Novel functions of cardiac adenosine A2a and A3 receptors. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1996;98(8):1773-1779.
Preconditioning with brief ischemia before a sustained period of ischemia reduces infarct size in the perfused heart. A cultured chick ventricular myocyte model was developed to investigate the role of adenosine receptor subtypes in cardiac preconditioning. Brief hypoxic exposure, termed preconditioning hypoxia, prior to prolonged hypoxia, protected myocytes against injury induced by the prolonged hypoxia. Activation of the adenosine A1 receptor with CCPA or the A3 receptor with C1-IB-MECA can replace preconditioning hypoxia and simulate preconditioning, with a maximal effect at 100 nM. While activation of the A2a receptor by 1 microM CGS21680 could not mimic preconditioning, its stimulation during preconditioning hypoxia, however, attenuated the protection against hypoxia-induced injury. Blockade of A2a receptors with the selective antagonist CSC (1 microM) during preconditioning hypoxia enhanced the protective effect of preconditioning. Nifedipine, which blocked the A2a receptor-mediated calcium entry, abolished the A2a agonist-induced attenuation of preconditioning. Isoproterenol, forskolin, and BayK 8644, which stimulated calcium entry, also attenuated preconditioning. Nifedipine blocked the increase in calcium uptake by these agents as well as their attenuating effect on preconditioning. The present study provides the first evidence that the adenosine A3 receptor is present on ventricular myocytes and can mediate simulation of preconditioning. The data demonstrate, for the first time, that activation of the A2a receptor antagonizes the preconditioning effect of adenosine, with increased calcium entry during the preconditioning stimuli as a novel mechanism.
PMCID: PMC507615  PMID: 8878427
24.  Limb remote ischemic postconditioning protects against focal ischemia in rats 
Brain research  2009;1288:88-94.
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.
PMCID: PMC2744502  PMID: 19631625
stroke; cerebral ischemia; preconditioning; remote postconditioning
25.  Toll-like receptor 9: A new target of ischemic preconditioning in the brain 
Preconditioning with the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) ligand, lipopolysaccharide, provides neuroprotection against subsequent cerebral ischemic brain injury, through a TNFα dependent process. Here we report the first evidence that another TLR, TLR9, can induce neuroprotection. We show that the TLR9 ligand (CpG ODN) can serve as a potent preconditioning stimulus and provide protection against ischemic brain injury. Our studies show that systemic administration of CpG ODN 1826 in advance of brain ischemia (middle cerebral artery occlusion; MCAO) reduces ischemic damage up to 60% in a dose and time dependent manner. We also offer evidence that CpG ODN preconditioning can provide direct protection to CNS cells as we have found marked neuroprotection in modeled ischemia in vitro. Finally, we show that CpG preconditioning significantly increases serum TNFα levels prior to MCAO and show that TNFα is required for subsequent reduction in damage, as mice lacking TNFα are not protected against ischemic injury by CpG preconditioning. Our studies demonstrate that preconditioning with a TLR9 ligand, induces neuroprotection against ischemic injury through a mechanism that shares common elements with LPS preconditioning via TLR4.
PMCID: PMC3037270  PMID: 18183029
CpG; ischemic tolerance; neuroprotection; preconditioning; TLR9

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