2-methoxyestradiol reduces cerebral vasospasm after 48 hours of experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage in rats

Junhao Yan, Chunhua Chen, Jilian Lei, Lei Yang, Ke Wang, Jun Liu, Changman Zhou
Experimental Neurology 2006, 202 (2): 348-56
2-Methoxyestradiol (2ME2), a naturally occurring metabolite of estradiol, is known to have antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, and antiproapoptotic activities. Mechanistically, 2ME2 has been shown to downregulate hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha). We hypothesized that hypoxia in the major cerebral arteries might activate a unique signaling pathway, hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha), to produce or enhance cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Sprague-Dawley male rats (n = 70) were randomly divided into 5 groups: Sham operated, SAH without treatment, SAH treated with vehicle (DMSO), SAH treated with two HIF-1alpha inhibitors, 2ME2, and D609 (positive control of 2ME2). SAH model was produced by middle cerebral artery perforation. 2ME2 and D609 were administered intraperitoneal at 1 h after SAH; rats were sacrificed after 48 h of SAH. Thick blood clot was observed around basilar artery under arachnoids in all animals except Sham group; severe morphological vasospasm was observed in basilar arteries in SAH and SAH+DMSO rats, and the mild vasospasm in rats treated with 2ME2 and D609; 2ME2 and D609 reduced the activity of HIF-1alpha in the basilar arteries by HIF-1alpha DuoSet ELISA; reduce the expression of HIF-1alpha, VEGF, BNIP3 and PCNA in basilar arteries by Western blotting and immunohistochemical staining. In addition, it decreased the mortality and improved the neurological deficits. In conclusion, 2ME2 is a powerful agent to reduce cerebral vasospasm by inhibiting HIF-1alpha activity and the expression of VEGF as its downstream, suppressing endothelium and VSMCs apoptosis via BNIP3 pathway, and attenuating vasoproliferation.

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