Hibernation in ground squirrels induces state and species-specific tolerance to hypoxia and aglycemia: an in vitro study in hippocampal slices.
ABSTRACT Hibernation in mammals is associated with a regulated depression of global cellular functions accompanied by reductions of cerebral blood flow that would render the brain profoundly ischemic under normal conditions. Homeostatic control is preserved, however, and brain damage does not occur. We investigated the possibility that hibernation not only confers tolerance to profound hypothermia, but also to hypoxia and aglycemia independent of temperature. Hippocampal slices from ground squirrels Citellus tridecemlineatus in both the active and hibernating states and from rats were subjected to in vitro hypoxia and aglycemia at incubation temperatures of 36 degrees C, 20 degrees C, and 7 degrees C and evaluated histologically. A binary bioassay was used to determine the duration of hypoxia/aglycemia tolerated in each group. At all temperatures, slices from hibernating animals were most tolerant compared with both active squirrels and rats. Slices from active ground squirrels were more tolerant than rat at 20 degrees C and 7 degrees C but not at 36 degrees C indicating a species-specific difference that becomes manifest at lower temperatures. These results indicate that hibernation is associated not only with tolerance to profound hypothermia but also to deprivation of oxygen and glucose. Because tolerance was already demonstrable at the shortest duration of hibernation studied, rapid therapeutic induction of a similar state may be possible. Therefore, identification of the regulatory mechanisms underlying this tolerance may lead to novel neuroprotective strategies.
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ABSTRACT: Naked mole-rats are highly social and strictly subterranean rodents that live in large communal colonies in sealed and chronically oxygen-depleted burrows. Brain slices from naked mole-rats show extreme tolerance to hypoxia compared to slices from other mammals, as indicated by maintenance of synaptic transmission under more hypoxic conditions and three fold longer latency to anoxic depolarization. A key factor in determining whether or not the cellular response to hypoxia is reversible or leads to cell death may be the elevation of intracellular calcium concentration. In the present study, we used fluorescent imaging techniques to measure relative intracellular calcium changes in CA1 pyramidal cells of hippocampal slices during hypoxia. We found that calcium accumulation during hypoxia was significantly and substantially attenuated in slices from naked mole-rats compared to slices from laboratory mice. This was the case for both neonatal (postnatal day 6) and older (postnatal day 20) age groups. Furthermore, while both species demonstrated more calcium accumulation at older ages, the older naked mole-rats showed a smaller calcium accumulation response than even the younger mice. A blunted intracellular calcium response to hypoxia may contribute to the extreme hypoxia tolerance of naked mole-rat neurons. The results are discussed in terms of a general hypothesis that a very prolonged or arrested developmental process may allow adult naked mole-rat brain to retain the hypoxia tolerance normally only seen in neonatal mammals.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e31568. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Combination treatment of hypothermia and mesenchymal stromal cells amplifies neuroprotection in primary rat neurons exposed to hypoxic-ischemic-like injury in vitro: role of the opioid system.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study was designed to reveal the therapeutic regimen and mechanism of action underlying hypothermia treatment in combination with stem cell transplantation for ameliorating neonatal hypoxic-ischemic-like injury. Primary rat neurons were exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), which produced hypoxic-ischemic-like injury in vitro, then incubated at 25°C (severe hypothermia), 34°C (moderate hypothermia), and 37°C (normothermia) with or without subsequent co-culture with mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Combination treatment of moderate hypothermia and MSCs significantly improved cell survival and mitochondrial activity after OGD exposure. The exposure of delta opioid human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) to moderate hypothermia attenuated OGD-mediated cell alterations, which were much more pronounced in HEK293 cells overexpressing the delta opioid receptor. Further, the addition of delta opioid peptide to 34°C hypothermia and stem cell treatment in primary rat neurons showed synergistic neuroprotective effects against OGD which were significantly more robust than the dual combination of moderate hypothermia and MSCs, and were significantly reduced, but not completely abolished, by the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone altogether implicating a ligand-receptor mechanism of neuroprotection. Further investigations into non-opioid therapeutic signaling pathways revealed growth factor mediation and anti-apoptotic function accompanying the observed therapeutic benefits. These results support combination therapy of hypothermia and stem cells for hypoxic-ischemic-like injury in vitro, which may have a direct impact on current clinical trials using stand-alone hypothermia or stem cells for treating neonatal encephalopathy.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e47583. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Elevated global SUMOylation in Ubc9 transgenic mice protects their brains against focal cerebral ischemic damage.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that a massive increase in global SUMOylation occurs during torpor in ground squirrels, and that overexpression of Ubc9 and/or SUMO-1 in cell lines and cortical neurons protects against oxygen and glucose deprivation. To examine whether increased global SUMOylation protects against ischemic brain damage, we have generated transgenic mice in which Ubc9 is expressed strongly in all tissues under the chicken β-actin promoter. Ubc9 expression levels in 10 founder lines ranged from 2 to 30 times the endogenous level, and lines that expressed Ubc9 at modestly increased levels showed robust resistance to brain ischemia compared to wild type mice. The infarction size was inversely correlated with the Ubc9 expression levels for up to five times the endogenous level. Although further increases showed no additional benefit, the Ubc9 expression level was highly correlated with global SUMO-1 conjugation levels (and SUMO-2,3 levels to a lesser extent) up to a five-fold Ubc9 increase. Most importantly, there were striking reciprocal relationships between SUMO-1 (and SUMO-2,3) conjugation levels and cerebral infarction volumes among all tested animals, suggesting that the limit in cytoprotection by global SUMOylation remains undefined. These results support efforts to further augment global protein SUMOylation in brain ischemia.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25852. · 4.09 Impact Factor