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Cerium oxide nanoparticles promote neurogenesis and abrogate hypoxia-induced memory impairment through AMPK–PKC–CBP signaling cascade

Authors Arya A, Gangwar A, Singh SK, Roy M, Das M, Sethy N, Bhargava K

Received 8 December 2015

Accepted for publication 29 January 2016

Published 23 March 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1159—1173

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S102096

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Farooq Shiekh

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J Webster


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Aditya Arya,1 Anamika Gangwar,1 Sushil Kumar Singh,2 Manas Roy,3,4 Mainak Das,3 Niroj Kumar Sethy,1 Kalpana Bhargava1

1Peptide and Proteomics Division, Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, 2Functional Materials Division, Solid State Physics Laboratory, Defense Research and Development Organization, Timarpur, Delhi, 3Biological Science and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, 4Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Howrah, India

Abstract: Structural and functional integrity of the brain is adversely affected by reduced oxygen saturation, especially during chronic hypoxia exposure and often encountered by altitude travelers or dwellers. Hypoxia-induced generation of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species reportedly affects the cortex and hippocampus regions of the brain, promoting memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction. Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CNPs), also known as nanoceria, switch between +3 and +4 oxidation states and reportedly scavenge superoxide anions, hydrogen peroxide, and peroxynitrite in vivo. In the present study, we evaluated the neuroprotective as well as the cognition-enhancing activities of nanoceria during hypobaric hypoxia. Using polyethylene glycol-coated 3 nm nanoceria (PEG-CNPs), we have demonstrated efficient localization of PEG-CNPs in rodent brain. This resulted in significant reduction of oxidative stress and associated damage during hypoxia exposure. Morris water maze-based memory function tests revealed that PEG-CNPs ameliorated hypoxia-induced memory impairment. Using microscopic, flow cytometric, and histological studies, we also provide evidences that PEG-CNPs augmented hippocampus neuronal survival and promoted neurogenesis. Molecular studies revealed that PEG-CNPs promoted neurogenesis through the 5'-adenine monophosphate-activated protein kinase–protein kinase C–cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein binding (AMPK-PKC-CBP) protein pathway. Our present study results suggest that nanoceria can be translated as promising therapeutic molecules for neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords: cerium oxide nanoparticles, oxidative stress, memory, hypoxia, neuroprotection

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