Sigma-1 receptor protects against endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated apoptosis in mice with cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury
Reports have showed that Sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) activation can protect neurons against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in mice and alleviate endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in cultured cells, but little known is about the protective role of Sig-1R on ER stress induced by cerebral I/R. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Sig-1R exerts a protective effect against ER stress-mediated apoptosis in cerebral I/R using a 15-min bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) mouse model. At 72 h after reperfusion in BCCAO mice, we found that Sig-1R knockout (Sig-1R KO) significantly increased terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells and nuclear structural damage in cortical neurons. Treatment with the Sig-1R agonist PRE084 once daily for three consecutive days reduced the number of TUNEL-positive cells and improved the ultrastructural damage of neurons in the cerebral cortex. These protective effects could be blocked by the Sig-1R antagonist BD1047. Then, we used BCCAO mice at 24 h after reperfusion to detect the expression of ER stress-mediated apoptotic pathway proteins. We found that expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins p-PERK, p-eIF2α, ATF, CHOP, p-IRE, p-JNK, Bim, PUMA, cleaved-caspase-12 and cleaved-caspase-3 was significantly increased and that expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 was significantly decreased in Sig-1R KO-BCCAO mice compared with BCCAO mice. Meanwhile, we found that treatment with PRE084 twice a day decreased pro-apoptotic protein expression and increased anti-apoptotic protein expression. The effects of PRE084 were blocked by the Sig-1R antagonist BD1047. These results suggest that Sig-1R activation inhibits ER stress-mediated apoptosis in BCCAO mice, indicating that Sig-1R may be a therapeutic target for neuroprotection particularly relevant to ER stress-induced apoptosis after cerebral I/R injury.
KeywordsSigma-1 receptor Ischemia/reperfusion ER stress Apoptosis Neuron
This study was supported by the Research Fund for National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81503057), the Liaoning Province Doctor Startup Fund of the Science and Technology Department of Liaoning Province (No. 201601143), the Career Development Support Program for Young and Middle-aged Teachers of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University (No. ZQN2015030) and the Undergraduate Training Programs of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of Shenyang Pharmaceutical University (No. 201610163036).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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