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BMC Neurosci. 2019 Apr 4;20(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s12868-019-0497-5.

Assessing the protective effect of rosiglitazone against electronic cigarette/tobacco smoke-induced blood-brain barrier impairment.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 1300 S. Coulter Street, Amarillo, TX, 79106, USA.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 1300 S. Coulter Street, Amarillo, TX, 79106, USA. luca.cucullo@ttuhsc.edu.
3
Center for Blood-Brain Barrier Research, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, TX, 79106, USA. luca.cucullo@ttuhsc.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Smoking (TS) and recently e-cigarettes (EC) vaping, have been associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction primarily relevant to oxidative stress, exposure to nicotine, and smoking-induced inflammation. It is accepted that both EC and TS enhance glucose intolerance and the risk of developing type-2 diabetes mellitus which is also one of the causes of blood-brain barrier (BBB) damage and the higher risk of cerebrovascular diseases. Recent studies have shown how Metformin, the first common antidiabetic drug, can protect the BBB integrity through enhancement of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) activity. Herein, we investigated the role of rosiglitazone (RSG; family of thiazolidinedione class used oral anti-diabetic drug) in TS/EC-induced BBB impairment.

RESULTS:

Although the exact mechanism of RSG is not fully understood, previous studies have revealed that RSG can promote counteractive protective mechanisms primarily associated with the enhancement of Nrf2 activity through activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. In line with these findings, our results show an increased expression of PPARy by RSG, enhancement of Nrf2 activity and BBB protection against TS/EC exposure including reduced inflammation, oxidative stress, tight junction downregulation and loss of BBB integrity.

CONCLUSIONS:

RSG could be considered as a promising therapeutic potential to prevent TS/EC induced cerebrovascular dysfunction and possibly other xenobiotic substances which may impact the BBB via oxidative stress-mediated effects. However, additional in vivo studies and clinical setting will be needed to validate our results and assess the full extent of RSG protective effects.

KEYWORDS:

Alternative; Blood–brain barrier; Nrf2; Oxidative stress; PPRγ; Rosiglitazone; Tight junctions

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