Doxycycline-mediated protective effect against focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury through the modulation of tight junctions and PKCδ signaling in rats

Zhenhua Wang, Yixue Xue, Haixia Jiao, Yunhui Liu, Ping Wang
Journal of Molecular Neuroscience: MN 2012, 47 (1): 89-100
The strategy for the development of effective and safe neuroprotective agents has great potential to reduce cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury and improve the functional outcome in stroke patients. Recently, doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic, has been shown to have neuroprotective efficiency in reduction of a variety of ischemia-reperfusion injuries as well as ischemic brain damage. We used the rat models of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and reperfusion to investigate the effects of treatments with doxycycline against the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leakage at 3, 12, 72, and 120 h of reperfusion. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to MCAO for 2 h followed by reperfusion for 3, 12, 72, and 120 h and received either doxycycline (45 mg/kg) or saline. The results showed that the treatment of doxycycline significantly reduced the BBB leakage and cerebral infarct volume, which were proved by Evans blue assay and TTC staining. Real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, and western blot assay verified that the administration of doxycycline significantly up-regulated the expression of tight junction claudin-5, occludin, and ZO-1 from 3 to 120 h after reperfusion. The results of real-time PCR, western blot, and gelatin zymography analyses revealed that the gene and protein expression and activities of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) MMP-2 and MMP-9 were significantly elevated in a different time-dependent manner after ischemia-reperfusion but significantly inhibited by doxycycline treatment. Moreover, doxycycline could also significantly down-regulate the expression of PKCδ mRNA and protein after ischemia-reperfusion. These results suggested that the protective effects of doxycycline against BBB damage induced by reperfusion might be related to the up-regulation of tight junction proteins and inhibition of MMP-2, MMP-9, and PKCδ.

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