Hypoxia stimulates proliferation of rat neural stem cells with influence on the expression of cyclin D1 and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase signaling pathway in vitro.
Ischemia/hypoxia is known to induce the neural stem cells proliferation and neural differentiation in rodent and human brain; however its mechanisms remain largely unknown. In this study we investigated the effect of hypoxia on neural stem cells (NSCs) proliferation with the expression of cyclin D1 and the phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling molecules. NSCs were cultured from cortex of fetal Sprague-Dawley rats on embryonic day 5.5. The hypoxia was made using a microaerophilic incubation system. The NSCs proliferation was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, diameter measurement of neurospheres, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation assay and cell cycle analysis. The cell death of NSCs was evaluated by terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. The expression of cyclin D1, phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) and p38 were analyzed by immunoblotting assay. The results showed that hypoxia increased NSCs proliferation in cell amount, diameter of neurospheres, BrdU incorporation and cell division, and the highest proliferation of the NSCs was observed with 12 h hypoxic treatment; hypoxia did not decrease cell death of NSCs; after hypoxic treatment, the expression of cyclin D1 increased, meanwhile P-JNK2 level increased, P-p38 decreased, and no significant change in P-ERK2 level compared to normoxic cultures. JNK inhibitor SP600125 attenuated the increase of cyclin D1 induced by hypoxia. These findings propose that hypoxia increases cyclin D1 expression through activation of JNK in NSCs of rat in vitro, suggesting a novel possible mechanism for hypoxia-induced proliferation of NSCs.
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