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J Neurosci. 2009 Mar 25;29(12):3875-84. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5529-08.2009.

Synthesis of lipoxin A4 by 5-lipoxygenase mediates PPARgamma-dependent, neuroprotective effects of rosiglitazone in experimental stroke.

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Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors gamma (PPARgamma) are nuclear receptors with essential roles as transcriptional regulators of glucose and lipid homeostasis. PPARgamma are also potent anti-inflammatory receptors, a property that contributes to the neuroprotective effects of PPARgamma agonists in experimental stroke. The mechanism of these beneficial actions, however, is not fully elucidated. Therefore, we have explored further the actions of the PPARgamma agonist rosiglitazone in experimental stroke induced by permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rodents. Rosiglitazone induced brain 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) expression in ischemic rat brain, concomitantly with neuroprotection. Rosiglitazone also increased cerebral lipoxin A(4) (LXA(4)) levels and inhibited MCAO-induced production of leukotriene B4 (LTB(4)). Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition and/or genetic deletion of 5-LO inhibited rosiglitazone-induced neuroprotection and downregulation of inflammatory gene expression, LXA(4) synthesis and PPARgamma transcriptional activity in rodents. Finally, LXA(4) caused neuroprotection, which was partly inhibited by the PPARgamma antagonist T0070907, and increased PPARgamma transcriptional activity in isolated nuclei, showing for the first time that LXA(4) has PPARgamma agonistic actions. Altogether, our data illustrate that some effects of rosiglitazone are attributable to de novo synthesis of 5-LO, able to induce a switch from the synthesis of proinflammatory LTB(4) to the synthesis of the proresolving LXA(4). Our study suggests novel lines of study such as the interest of lipoxin-like anti-inflammatory drugs or the use of these molecules as prognostic and/or diagnostic markers for pathologies in which inflammation is involved, such as stroke.

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