It has been recently shown that a short sublethal brain ischemia subsequent to a prolonged harmful ischemic episode may confer ischemic neuroprotection, a phenomenon termed ischemic postconditioning. Na /Ca 2 exchanger (NCX) isoforms, NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3, are plasma membrane ionic transporters widely distributed in the brain and 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 postconditioning-induced neuroprotection. The NCX protein and mRNA expression was evaluated at different time points in the ischemic temporoparietal cortex of rats subjected to tMCAO alone or to tMCAO plus ischemic postconditioning. The results of this study showed that NCX3 protein and ncx3 mRNA were upregulated in those brain regions protected by postconditioning treatment. These changes in NCX3 expression were mediated by the phosphorylated form of the ubiquitously expressed serine/threonine protein kinase p-AKT, as the p-AKT inhibition prevented NCX3 upregulation. The relevant role of NCX3 during postconditioning was further confirmed by results showing that NCX3 silencing, induced by intracerebroventricular infusion of small interfering RNA (siRNA), partially reverted the postconditioning-induced neuroprotection. The results of this study support the idea that the enhancement of NCX3 expression and activity might represent a reasonable strategy to reduce the infarct extension after stroke.
- sodium/calcium exchanger
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Clinical Neurology