JOURNAL ARTICLE

Phosphorylation of p38 MAPK mediates hypoxic preconditioning-induced neuroprotection against cerebral ischemic injury via mitochondria translocation of Bcl-xL in mice

Li Zhao, Xu Liu, Jing Liang, Song Han, Yue Wang, Yanling Yin, Yanlin Luo, Junfa Li
Brain Research 2013 March 29, 1503: 78-88
23399686
Hypoxic preconditioning (HPC) initiates intracellular signaling pathway to provide protection, but the role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) in HPC-induced neuroprotection against cerebral ischemic injuries is a matter of debate. In this study, we found that HPC could reduce 6h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced infarct volume, edema ratio and cell apoptosis, as well as enhancing the up-regulated p38 MAPK phosphorylation (P-p38 MAPK) levels in the peri-infarct region of mice after 6h MCAO. However, intracerebroventricular injection of p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580 abolished this HPC-induced neuroprotection. HPC significantly increased the translocation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2-related protein Bcl-xL from the cytosol to the mitochondria in the peri-infarct region of MCAO mice. Interestingly, the results of reciprocal immunoprecipitation showed that Bcl-xL and P-p38 MAPK were coimmunoprecipitated reciprocally only in the peri-infarct region of HPC and MCAO treated mice, while Bcl-xL and total p38 (T-p38 MAPK), not P-p38 MAPK, could be coimmunoprecipited by each other in the brain of normal control mice. In addition, we found SB203580 significantly decreased P-p38 MAPK levels, and inhibited HPC-induced mitochondria translocation of Bcl-xL in the brain of HPC and MCAO treated mice. Taken together, our findings suggested that P-p38 MAPK mediates HPC-induced neuroprotection against cerebral ischemic injury via mitochondria translocation of Bcl-xL, which might be a key anti-cell apoptotic mechanism of HPC.

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