Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

Neuronal NAMPT is released after cerebral ischemia and protects against white matter injury.

PMID 25005877


Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) has been implicated in neuroprotection against ischemic brain injury, but the mechanism underlying its protective effect remains largely unknown. To further examine the protective effect of NAMPT against ischemic stroke and its potential mechanism of action, we generated a novel neuron-specific NAMPT transgenic mouse line. Transgenic mice and wild-type littermates were subjected to transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCAO) for 60 minutes. Neuron-specific NAMPT overexpression significantly reduced infarct volume by 65% (P=0.018) and improved long-term neurologic outcomes (P≤0.05) compared with littermates. Interestingly, neuronal overexpression of NAMPT increased the area of myelinated fibers in the striatum and corpus callosum, indicating that NAMPT protects against white matter injury. The mechanism of protection appeared to be through extracellular release of NAMPT. First, NAMPT was secreted into the extracellular medium by primary cortical neurons exposed to ischemia-like oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) in vitro. Second, conditioned medium from NAMPT-overexpressing neurons exposed to OGD protected cultured oligodendrocytes from OGD. Third, the protective effects of conditioned medium were abolished by antibody-mediated NAMPT depletion, strongly suggesting that the protective effect is mediated by the extracellular NAMPT released into in the medium. These data suggest a novel neuroprotective role for secreted NAMPT in the protection of white matter after ischemic injury.