Background: In physiologic and pathologic conditions of the central nervous system (CNS), astrocytes are a double-edged sword. They not only support neuronal homeostasis but also contribute to increases in neuronal demise. A large body of experimental evidence has shown that impaired astrocytes play crucial roles in the pathologic process of cerebral ischemia; therefore, astrocytes may represent a breakthrough target for neuroprotective therapeutic strategies. Agmatine, an endogenous polyamine catalyzed from L-arginine by arginine decarboxylase (ADC), is a neuromodulator and it protects neurons/glia against various injuries.Results: In this investigation, agmatine-producing mouse cortical astrocytes were developed through transduction of the human ADC gene. Cells were exposed to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) and restored to a normoxic glucose-supplied condition. Intracellular levels of agmatine were measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Cell viability was evaluated by Hoechest/propidium iodide nuclear staining and lactate dehydrogenase assay. Expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and matrix metalloproteinase s (MMPs) were assessed by a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western immunoblots, and immunofluorescence. We confirmed that ADC gene-expressed astrocytes produce a great amount of agmatine. These cells were highly resistant to not only OGD but also restoration, which mimicked ischemia-reperfusion injury in vivo. The neuroprotective effects of ADC seemed to be related to its ability to attenuate expression of iNOS and MMPs.Conclusion: Our findings imply that astrocytes can be reinforced against oxidative stress by endogenous agmatine production through ADC gene transduction. The results of this study provide new insights that may lead to novel therapeutic approaches to reduce cerebral ischemic injuries.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) (No. 2011–0013288, 2012– 0005440) and by the Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
© 2014 Hong et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience