Neurochemistry international

Ginkgolide B preconditioning on astrocytes promotes neuronal survival in ischemic injury via up-regulating erythropoietin secretion.

PMID 23201340


Although ischemic preconditioning (IP) can provide powerful protection on brain against ischemic insult, it is rarely used in clinic to prevent the occurrence of ischemic stroke because of safety concerns. It is therefore necessary to seek the safer stimuli to initiate pharmacological preconditioning. Our previous work demonstrated that ginkgolide B (GB) could protect neurons against ischemia-induced apoptosis. Astrocytes are the most numerous cells in mammalian central nervous system and there is a close bi-directional communication between neurons and astrocytes in brain. Besides neurons, whether GB can exert the role of preconditioning on astrocytes through which to further improve neuronal survival under ischemic condition is not yet known. In the present study, primary cultured astrocytes were treated with GB for 24h or short-term ischemia (ischemia for 3h, as ischemic preconditioning/IP), and then cultured back to normoxia and normal medium for 24h to induce the preconditioning response. Astrocyte-conditioned medium (ACM) was then collected and used to incubate the cultured neurons for 24h before neurons were subjected to severe ischemia. Our results demonstrated that not only GB and IP increased astrocytic viability in ischemia, but also the conditioned medium from astrocytes treated with GB or IP increased cell viability and decreased the number of apoptosis of neurons in ischemia. We also found that GB and IP significantly stimulated astrocytes to express and secrete erythropoietin (EPO) into ACM, and the addition of anti-EPO antibody blocked the protective effect of GB or IP-treated astrocytes culture medium on neurons in ischemia. Further study of above protection revealed that ACM from astrocytes treated with GB or IP induced the inactivation of proapoptotic factor Bad by phosphorylation at serine 136 and 112 ((136)p-Bad and (112)p-Bad) in neurons. Together, our results suggest that GB is capable of preconditioning on astrocytes as IP and then protects neurons against ischemia-induced apoptosis, which is mediated by EPO.

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