Neuroprotection by JM-20 against oxygen-glucose deprivation in rat hippocampal slices: Involvement of the Akt/GSK-3β pathway

Jeney Ramírez-Sánchez, Elisa Nicoloso Simões Pires, Yanier Nuñez-Figueredo, Gilberto L Pardo-Andreu, Luis Arturo Fonseca-Fonseca, Alberto Ruiz-Reyes, Estael Ochoa-Rodríguez, Yamila Verdecia-Reyes, René Delgado-Hernández, Diogo O Souza, Christianne Salbego
Neurochemistry International 2015, 90: 215-23
Cerebral ischemia is the third most common cause of death and a major cause of disability worldwide. Beyond a shortage of essential metabolites, ischemia triggers many interconnected pathophysiological events, including excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective mechanisms of JM-20, a novel synthetic molecule, focusing on the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt survival pathway and glial cell response as potential targets of JM-20. For this purpose, we used organotypic hippocampal slice cultures exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) to achieve ischemic/reperfusion damage in vitro. Treatment with JM-20 at 0.1 and 10 μM reduced PI incorporation (indicative of cell death) after OGD. OGD decreased the phosphorylation of Akt (pro-survival) and GSK 3β (pro-apoptotic), resulting in respective inhibition and activation of these proteins. Treatment with JM20 prevented the reduced phosphorylation of these proteins after OGD, representing a shift from pro-apoptotic to pro-survival signaling. The OGD-induced activation of caspase-3 was also attenuated by JM-20 treatment at 10 μM. Moreover, in cultures treated with JM-20 and exposed to OGD conditioning, we observed a decrease in activated microglia, as well as a decrease in interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α release into the culture medium, while the level of the anti-inflammatory IL-10 increased. GFAP immunostaining and IB4 labeling showed that JM-20 treatment significantly augmented GFAP immunoreactivity after OGD, when compared with cultures exposed to OGD only, suggesting the activation of astroglial cells. Our results confirm that JM-20 has a strong neuroprotective effect against ischemic injury and suggest that the mechanisms involved in this effect may include the modulation of reactive astrogliosis, as well as neuroinflammation and the anti-apoptotic cell signaling pathway.

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