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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55290. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055290. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

CXCR7 silencing attenuates cell adaptive response to stromal cell derived factor 1α after hypoxia.

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Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China.


Previous studies have shown that chemotactic factor stromal-cell derived factor 1α (SDF1α) promotes cell recovery from hypoxic injury via its main receptor C-X-C chemokine receptor type (CXCR) 4. However, the role of its new receptor CXCR7 on cell repair against hypoxia and cell response to SDF1α remains largely unknown. In this study, neurons induced from hippocampal progenitor cells were pre-conditioned in hypoxia for 4 h and subsequently monitored to investigate the function of SDF1α on cell repair after hypoxia. Neurons were assessed for their cell morphology, actin filament polymerization and migration capability. SDF1α protein levels increased significantly 1 h after hypoxia compared to control (P<0.01), and it reached a peak at 24 h after hypoxia. Moreover, addition of SDF1α promoted neurite outgrowth and actin filament polymerization both in normoxic and hypoxic cells compared to untreated cells. Cell migration showed a time-dependent increase with SDF1α stimulation in both groups, and hypoxic cells illustrated a significant augment at 0.5 h, 1 h and 12 h after SDF1α application compared to normoxic cells (P<0.01). CXCR7 expression also increased with time dependence after hypoxia and demonstrated a two-fold upregulation compared to control at 24 h after hypoxia. With CXCR7 silencing, axon elongation and actin filament polymerization induced by SDF1α were inhibited sharply both in normoxic and hypoxic cells. CXCR7 silencing also leads to reduced hypoxic cell migration at 0.5 h, 1 h, 12 h, 24 h and 36 h after SDF1α application (P<0.01), but it failed to reduce normoxic cell migration induced by SDF1α at 0.5 h, 1 h and 12 h (P>0.05). 24 h SDF1α stimulation led to higher ERK1/2 phosphorylation compared to control, and ERK1/2 phosphorylation increased more in hypoxic cells than that in normoxic cells. This study suggested that CXCR7 plays an important role on cell repair processing induced by SDF1α, and CXCR7 silencing attenuates cell adaptive response to acute SDF1α stimulation (≤12 h) after hypoxia.

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