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Menaquinone-4 alleviates hypoxic-ischemic brain damage in neonatal rats by reducing mitochondrial dysfunction via Sirt1-PGC-1α-TFAM signaling pathway.

BACKGROUND: Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a major contributor to neonatal mortality and neurodevelopmental disorders, but currently there is no effective therapy drug for HIE. Mitochondrial dysfunction plays a pivotal role in hypoxic-ischemic brain damage(HIBD). Menaquinone-4 (MK-4), a subtype of vitamin K2 prevalent in the brain, has been shown to enhance mitochondrial function and exhibit protective effects against ischemia-reperfusion injury. However, the impact and underlying molecular mechanism of MK-4 in HIE have not been fully elucidated.

METHODS: In this study, we established the neonatal rats HIBD model in vivo and oxygen-glucose deprivation and reperfusion (OGD/R) of primary neurons in vitro to explore the neuroprotective effects of MK-4 on HI damage, and illuminate the potential mechanism.

RESULTS: Our findings revealed that MK-4 ameliorated mitochondrial dysfunction, reduced oxidative stress, and prevented HI-induced neuronal apoptosis by activating the Sirt1-PGC-1α-TFAM signaling pathway through Sirt1 mediation. Importantly, these protective effects were partially reversed by EX-527, a Sirt1 inhibitor.

CONCLUSION: Our study elucidated the potential therapeutic mechanism of MK-4 in neonatal HIE, suggesting its viability as an agent for enhancing recovery from HI-induced cerebral damage in newborns. Further exploration into MK-4 could lead to novel interventions for HIE therapy.

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