Neuroprotection induced by sevoflurane-delayed post-conditioning is attributable to increased phosphorylation of mitochondrial GSK-3β through the PI3K/Akt survival pathway

Zhi Ye, Pingping Xia, Zhi-gang Cheng, Qulian Guo
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2015 January 15, 348 (1-2): 216-25

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Post-conditioning with volatile anesthetics can create ischemic tolerance against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. The present study was designed to determine whether delayed exposure to sevoflurane could induce ischemic tolerance and if this effect was dependent on increasing phosphorylated Akt-Ser473 and GSK-3β-Ser9 expression in the mitochondria, via a mechanism involving the PI3K/Akt pathway.

METHODS: Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to focal cerebral ischemia. Sevoflurane post-conditioning was achieved by administration of 2.5% sevoflurane for 60 min, 15 min after reperfusion. Phosphorylated Akt-Ser473 and GSK-3β-Ser9 in the cytosol and mitochondria of the ischemic penumbra were evaluated 4, 12, 24, and 72 h after reperfusion. Neurological deficit score and activity of caspase-3 and -9 were evaluated 24 and 72 h after reperfusion. Apoptosis, as measured by TUNEL staining and cerebral infarct size,was determined 24h after reperfusion.

RESULTS: Sevoflurane-delayed post-conditioning significantly increased levels of phosphorylated Akt-Ser473 and GSK-3β-Ser9 in the mitochondria and inhibited the activities of caspase-3 and -9, showing an improved neurological deficit score and a decreased infarct size. However, LY294002, a selective PI3K inhibitor, not only eliminated the neuroprotection of sevoflurane, as indicated by an increased infarct size and a larger number of TUNEL-positive cells, but also reversed the elevation of p-Akt and p-GSK-3β expression in the mitochondria induced by sevoflurane post-conditioning.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggested that delayed application of sevoflurane after reperfusion provides neuroprotection by activating phosphorylated Akt-Ser473 and GSK-3β-Ser9 in the mitochondria via the PI3K/Akt pathway.

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