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Thymosin β4 prevents oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion-induced injury in rat cortical neurons

Authors Zhang Z, Liu S, Huang S

Received 13 March 2019

Accepted for publication 23 July 2019

Published 22 August 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 2385—2393

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S208600

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning


Zhongsheng Zhang, Shuangfeng Liu, Sichun Huang

Department of Neurology, The 6th Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Qingyuan People’s Hospital, Qingyuan 511518, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Zhongsheng Zhang
Department of Neurology, The 6th Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Qingyuan People’s Hospital, Qingyuan 511518, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 135 3952 3445
Email zzsllokyy@163.com

Purpose: This study investigated whether thymosin (T) β4 protects against oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) injury in rat cortical neurons, as well as the underlying mechanisms.
Methods: Primary rat cortical neurons were transfected with Tβ4 overexpression plasmid; the transfection efficiency was confirmed by detecting Tβ4 expression by fluorescence quantitative PCR and Western blotting. The OGD/R model was established and apoptotic cells were quantified by flow cytometry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling. Structural changes in the endoplasmic reticulum were visualized by transmission electron microscopy. The expression levels of 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 78, C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), B-cell lymphoma (Bcl)-2, and Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) were determined by Western blotting. The effect of Tβ4 on OGD/R injury was evaluated by adding exogenous Tβ4 to neuronal cultures.
Results: Cortical neurons were identified by the expression of neuron-specific enolase. In OGD/R cells, the rate of apoptosis was increased and GRP78, CHOP, and Bax were upregulated whereas Bcl-2 was downregulated relative to the control group. These effects were reversed by Tβ4 overexpression. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was observed in the OGD/R group, but this was abolished in neurons overexpressing Tβ4. The protective effect of Tβ4 against OGD/R injury was also demonstrated in cells treated with exogenous Tβ4 (10 ng/mL), which blocked OGD/R-induced apoptosis by inhibiting ER stress-related and pro-apoptotic protein expression.
Conclusion: Tβ4 prevents OGD/R-induced ER stress-dependent apoptosis in cortical neurons, and is a potential treatment for cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Keywords: Tβ4, cortical neuron culture, OGD/R, endoplasmic reticulum stress

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