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Neuroscience. 2005;134(1):69-80.

Ischemic preconditioning prevents protein aggregation after transient cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine, PO Box 16960, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


Transient cerebral ischemia leads to protein aggregation mainly in neurons destined to undergo delayed neuronal death after ischemia. This study utilized a rat transient cerebral ischemia model to investigate whether ischemic preconditioning is able to alleviate neuronal protein aggregation, thereby protecting neurons from ischemic neuronal damage. Ischemic preconditioning was introduced by a sublethal 3 min period of ischemia followed by 48 h of recovery. Brains from rats with either ischemic preconditioning or sham-surgery were then subjected to a subsequent 7 min period of ischemia followed by 30 min, 4, 24, 48 and 72 h of reperfusion. Protein aggregation and neuronal death were studied by electron and confocal microscopy, as well as by biochemical analyses. Seven minutes of cerebral ischemia alone induced severe protein aggregation after 4 h of reperfusion mainly in CA1 neurons destined to undergo delayed neuronal death (which took place after 72 h of reperfusion). Ischemic preconditioning reduced significantly protein aggregation and virtually eliminated neuronal death in CA1 neurons. Biochemical analyses revealed that ischemic preconditioning decreased accumulation of ubiquitin-conjugated proteins (ubi-proteins) and reduced free ubiquitin depletion after brain ischemia. Furthermore, ischemic preconditioning also reduced redistribution of heat shock cognate protein 70 and Hdj1 from cytosolic fraction to protein aggregate-containing fraction after brain ischemia. These results suggest that ischemic preconditioning decreases protein aggregation after brain ischemia.

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