14,15-Epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (14,15-EET) is abundantly expressed in brain and exerts protective effects against ischaemia. 14,15-EET is hydrolysed by soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). sEH-/- mice show a higher level of 14,15-EET in the brain. Astrocytes play a pivotal role in neuronal survival under ischaemic conditions. However, it is unclear whether the neuroprotective effect of 14,15-EET is associated with astrocytes. A mouse model of focal cerebral ischaemia was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion. Oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) was performed on cultured murine astrocytes, neurons and a human cell line. Cell viabilities were measured by 3-(4, 5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2, 5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The mRNA expressions were quantified by real-time PCR. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentration was measured by ELISA. Protein expressions were quantified by Western blotting. BDNF and peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) expressions were analysed by confocal microscopy. Decreased infarct volumes, elevated BDNF expression and increased numbers of BDNF/GFAP Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein double-positive cells were observed in the ischaemic penumbra of sEH-/- mice. The decreased infarct volumes of sEH-/- mice were diminished by intracerebroventricular injection of a blocker of BDNF receptor. 14,15-EET increases BDNF expression and cell viability of murine astrocytes and U251 cells by BDNF-TrkB Tyrosine receptor kinase-B-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 signalling during OGD/R. 14,15-EET protects neurons from OGD/R by stimulating the production of astrocyte-derived BDNF. 14,15-EET stimulates the production of astrocyte-derived BDNF through PPAR-γ/p-cAMP-response element binding protein signal pathways. Our study demonstrates the importance of 14,15-EET-mediated production of astrocyte-derived BDNF for enhancing viability of astrocytes and protecting neurons from the ischaemic injury and provides insights into the mechanism by which 14,15-EET is involved in neuroprotection.
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