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The Mitochondria-Derived Peptide Humanin Improves Recovery from Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Implication of Mitochondria Transfer and Microglia Phenotype Change.

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience (2020-01-26)
Joo Eun Jung, Guanghua Sun, Jesus Bautista Garrido, Lidiya Obertas, Alexis S Mobley, Shun-Ming Ting, Xiurong Zhao, Jaroslaw Aronowski
ABSTRACT

Astrocytes are an integral component of the neurovascular unit where they act as homeostatic regulators, especially after brain injuries, such as stroke. One process by which astrocytes modulate homeostasis is the release of functional mitochondria (Mt) that are taken up by other cells to improve their function. However, the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect of Mt transfer are unclear and likely multifactorial. Using a cell culture system, we established that astrocytes release both intact Mt and humanin (HN), a small bioactive peptide normally transcribed from the Mt genome. Further experiments revealed that astrocyte-secreted Mt enter microglia, where they induce HN expression. Similar to the effect of HN alone, incorporation of Mt by microglia (1) upregulated expression of the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and its target genes (including mitochondrial superoxide dismutase), (2) enhanced phagocytic activity toward red blood cells (an in vitro model of hematoma clearance after intracerebral hemorrhage [ICH]), and (3) reduced proinflammatory responses. ICH induction in male mice caused profound HN loss in the affected hemisphere. Intravenously administered HN penetrated perihematoma brain tissue, reduced neurological deficits, and improved hematoma clearance, a function that normally requires microglia/macrophages. This study suggests that astrocytic Mt-derived HN could act as a beneficial secretory factor, including when transported within Mt to microglia, where it promotes a phagocytic/reparative phenotype. These findings also indicate that restoring HN levels in the injured brain could represent a translational target for ICH. These favorable biological responses to HN warrant studies on HN as therapeutic target for ICH.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Astrocytes are critical for maintaining brain homeostasis. Here, we demonstrate that astrocytes secrete mitochondria (Mt) and the Mt-genome-encoded, small bioactive peptide humanin (HN). Mt incorporate into microglia, and both Mt and HN promote a "reparative" microglia phenotype characterized by enhanced phagocytosis and reduced proinflammatory responses. Treatment with HN improved outcomes in an animal model of intracerebral hemorrhage, suggesting that this process could have biological relevance to stroke pathogenesis.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Drabkin′s reagent, for the determination of hemoglobin
Sigma-Aldrich
Monoclonal Anti-β-Tubulin antibody produced in mouse, ~2.0 mg/mL, clone AA2, purified immunoglobulin, buffered aqueous solution