Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 157, Issue 5, pp 781–792 | Cite as

Role of the AMPK signaling pathway in early brain injury after subarachnoid hemorrhage in rats

  • Ji-Yang An
  • Li-Li Zhou
  • Peng Sun
  • Hong-Gang Pang
  • Dan-Dong Li
  • Yu Li
  • Ming Zhang
  • Jin-Ning SongEmail author
Experimental Research - Vascular



AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a key metabolic and stress sensor/effector. Few investigations have been performed to study the role of AMPK in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-induced early brain injury (EBI). This study was undertaken to investigate the time course of AMPK activation in the early stage of SAH and to evaluate the influence of AICAR (which is known to mimic AMP and activates AMPK) and compound C (a commonly used AMPK inhibitor) on EBI in rats following SAH.


Adult male rats were divided into six groups: control, sham, SAH, SAH + vehicle, SAH + AICAR and SAH + compound C. SAHs were induced by a modified endovascular perforation method. Immunohistochemistry, real-time PCR and Western blot were used to detect the spatial and dynamic expression of AMPK after SAH. Cortical apoptosis and the expressions of apoptosis-related proteins such as FOXO3a (forkhead box, class O, 3a) and Bim (Bcl-2-interacting mediator of cell death) were detected after different drug interventions.


We found SAH induced prolonged activation of AMPK. Treatment with AICAR markedly induced overactivation of AMPK and upregulation of FOXO3a and Bim. AICAR also significantly exacerbated cerebral apoptosis and neurological impairment following SAH. On the other hand, pre-administration of compound C attenuated EBI in this SAH model by modulating cerebral apoptosis by inhibiting FOXO3a and Bim.


Our findings suggest that the AMPK pathway may play an important role in SAH-induced neuronal apoptosis, and the use of AMPK inhibitors can provide neuroprotection in EBI after SAH.


Subarachnoid hemorrhage Early brain injury Apoptosis Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase Bim 



This study was supported by the National 863 Project of China, no. 2006AA02Z4Z4; the National Natural Science Foundation of China, no. 30870844; the New Century Excellent Talent Support Project of Ministry of Education, no. NCET-05-0831; the “13115” Special Fund for Major Science and Technology Projects of Shaanxi Province, no. 2008ZDKG-66

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji-Yang An
    • 1
    • 2
  • Li-Li Zhou
    • 3
  • Peng Sun
    • 1
  • Hong-Gang Pang
    • 1
  • Dan-Dong Li
    • 1
  • Yu Li
    • 1
  • Ming Zhang
    • 1
  • Jin-Ning Song
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Medical CollegeXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anP. R. China
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou UniversityZhengzhouP. R. China
  3. 3.Department of General Surgery, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Medical CollegeXi’anP. R. China

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