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J Neuroinflammation. 2019 Feb 1;16(1):24. doi: 10.1186/s12974-019-1406-7.

Neuroprotective effect of Apelin 13 on ischemic stroke by activating AMPK/GSK-3β/Nrf2 signaling.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacy, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Medical University, No. 127, Changle West Road, Xi'an, 710032, Shaanxi, China.
2
Department of Chinese Medicine, School of Life Science, Northwestern University, No. 229, Taibai Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.
3
Department of Chinese Medicine, School of Life Science, Northwestern University, No. 229, Taibai Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. bolingq@nwu.edu.cn.
4
Department of Pharmacy, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Medical University, No. 127, Changle West Road, Xi'an, 710032, Shaanxi, China. adwen-2004@hotmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies had showed that Apelin 13 could protect against apoptosis induced by ischemic/reperfusion (I/R). However, the mechanisms whereby Apelin 13 protected brain I/R remained to be elucidated. The present study was designed to determine whether Apelin 13 provided protection through AMPK/GSK-3β/Nrf2 pathway.

METHODS:

In vivo, the I/R model was induced and Apelin 13 was given intracerebroventricularly 15 min before reperfusion. The neurobehavioral scores, infarction volumes, and some cytokines in the brain were measured. For in vitro study, PC12 cells were used. To clarify the mechanisms, proteases inhibitors or siRNA were used. Protein levels were investigated by western blotting.

RESULTS:

The results showed that Apelin 13 treatment significantly reduced infarct size, improved neurological outcomes, decreased brain edema, and inhibited cell apoptosis, oxidative stress, and neuroinflammation after I/R. Apelin 13 significantly increased the expression of Nrf2 and the phosphorylation levels of AMPK and GSK-3β. Furthermore, in cultured PC12 cells, the same protective effects were also observed. Silencing Nrf2 gene with its siRNA abolished the Apelin 13's prevention of I/R-induced PC12 cell injury, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Inhibition of AMPK by its siRNA decreased the level of Apelin 13-induced Nrf2 expression and diminished the protective effects of Apelin 13. The interplay relationship between GSK-3β and Nrf2 was also verified with relative overexpression. Using selective inhibitors, we further identified the upstream of AMPK/GSK-3β/Nrf2 is AR/Gα/PLC/IP3/CaMKK.

CONCLUSIONS:

In conclusion, the previous results showed that Apelin 13 protected against I/R-induced ROS-mediated inflammation and oxidative stress through activating the AMPK/GSK-3β pathway by AR/Gα/PLC/IP3/CaMKK signaling, and further upregulated the expression of Nrf2-regulated antioxidant enzymes.

KEYWORDS:

AMPK/GSK-3β/Nrf2; Apelin 13; Inflammation; Ischemic stroke; Oxidative stress

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