NCX1 and NCX3: Two new effectors of delayed preconditioning in brain ischemia

Giuseppe Pignataro, Francesca Boscia, Elga Esposito, Rossana Sirabella, Ornella Cuomo, Antonio Vinciguerra, Gianfranco Di Renzo, Lucio Annunziato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Substantial evidence has established that a short sub-lethal brain ischemia applied before a prolonged harmful ischemic episode confers ischemic neuroprotection, a phenomenon named ischemic preconditioning. Na +/Ca 2+ exchanger (NCX) isoforms, NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3, are plasmamembrane ionic transporters widely distributed in the brain, where they are involved in the control of Na + and Ca 2+ homeostasis and in the progression of stroke damage. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of these three proteins in the preconditioning-induced neuroprotection. NCX protein expression was evaluated at different time points in the ischemic temporoparietal cortex of rats subjected to ischemia alone, to ischemic preconditioning alone, or to ischemic preconditioning plus ischemia. NCX1 and NCX3 were up-regulated in those brain regions protected by preconditioning treatment. These changes were mediated by p-AKT, since the p-AKT inhibition prevented the up-regulation of both isoforms. The relevant role of NCX1 and NCX3 during preconditioning was further confirmed when NCX1 and NCX3 silencing, induced by icv infusion of siRNA, partially reverted the preconditioning-induced neuroprotection. The enhancement of NCX1 and NCX3 expression and activity might represent a reasonable strategy to reduce the infarct extension after stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-623
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • AKT
  • NCX
  • Neuroprotection
  • Preconditioning
  • Sodium/calcium exchanger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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