Neuronal apoptosis mediated by the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway is an important pathological process in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. 14,15-EET, an intermediate metabolite of arachidonic acid, can promote cell survival during ischemia/reperfusion. However, whether the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway is involved this survival mechanism is not fully understood. In this study, we observed that infarct size in ischemia-reperfusion injury was reduced in sEH gene knockout mice. In addition, Caspase 3 activation, cytochrome C release and AIF nuclear translocation were also inhibited. In this study, 14,15-EET pretreatment reduced neuronal apoptosis in the oxygen-glucose deprivation and re-oxygenation group in vitro. The mitochondrial apoptosis pathway was also inhibited, as evidenced by AIF translocation from the mitochondria to nucleus and the reduction in the expressions of cleaved-caspase 3 and cytochrome C in the cytoplasm. 14,15-EET could reduce neuronal apoptosis through upregulation of the ratio of Bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic protein) to Bax (apoptosis protein) and inhibition of Bax aggregation onto mitochondria. PI3K/AKT pathway is also probably involved in the reduction of neuronal apoptosis by EET. Our study suggests that 14,15-EET could suppress neuronal apoptosis and reduce infarct volume through the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Furthermore, the PI3K/AKT pathway also appears to be involved in the neuroprotection against ischemia-reperfusion by 14,15-EET.
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