Folic acid deficiency increases stroke risk. In the present study, we examined whether folic acid deficiency enhances neuronal damage and gliosis via oxidative stress in the gerbil hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia. Animals were exposed to a folic acid-deficient diet (FAD) for 3 months and then subjected to occlusion of both common carotid arteries for 5 min. Exposure to an FAD increased plasma homocysteine levels by five- to eightfold compared with those of animals fed with a control diet (CD). In CD-treated animals, most neurons were dead in the hippocampal CA1 region 4 days after ischemia/reperfusion, whereas, in FAD-treated animals, this occurred 3 days after ischemia/reperfusion. Immunostaining for 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) was performed to examine DNA damage in CA1 neurons in both groups after ischemia, and it was found that 8-OHdG immunoreactivity in both FAD and CD groups peaked at 12 hr after reperfusion, although the immunoreactivity in the FAD group was much greater than that in the CD group. Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1; a final mediator of neutrophil transendothelial migration) immunoreactivity in both groups increased with time after ischemia/reperfusion: Its immunoreactivity in the FAD group was much higher than that in the CD group 3 days after ischemia/reperfusion. In addition, reactive gliosis in the ischemic CA1 region increased with time after ischemia in both groups, but astrocytosis and microgliosis in the FAD group were more severe than in the CD group at all times after ischemia. Our results suggest that folic acid deficiency enhances neuronal damage induced by ischemia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience