alexa Astrocyte responses to injury: VEGF simultaneously modulates cell death and proliferation.
Toxicology

Toxicology

Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology

Author(s): SchmidBrunclik N, BrgiTaboada C, Antoniou X, Gassmann M, Ogunshola OO, SchmidBrunclik N, BrgiTaboada C, Antoniou X, Gassmann M, Ogunshola OO

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Abstract Hypoxia is linked to changes in blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability, and loss of BBB integrity is characteristic of many pathological brain diseases including stroke. In particular, astrocytes play a central role in brain homeostasis and BBB function. We investigated how hypoxia affects astrocyte survival and assessed whether VEGF release through hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha) induction plays a role in tolerance of these cells to insult. Thus primary astrocytes were subjected to normoxic (21\% O(2)), hypoxic (1\% O(2)), or near-anoxic (<0.1\% O(2)) conditions in the presence or absence of glucose. Cell death was significantly initiated after combined oxygen glucose deprivation, and, surprisingly, astrocyte proliferation increased concomitantly. Near anoxic, but not hypoxic, conditions stabilized HIF-1alpha protein and provoked DNA binding activity, whereas oxygen and glucose deprivation accelerated HIF-1alpha accumulation. Unexpectedly, Hif-1alpha knockdown studies showed that elevated VEGF levels following increased insult was only partially due to HIF-1alpha induction, suggesting alternative mechanisms of VEGF regulation. Notably, endogenous VEGF signaling during insult was essential for cell fate since VEGF inhibition appreciably augmented cell death and reduced proliferation. These data suggest Hif-1 only partially contributes to VEGF-mediated astrocyte responses during chronic injury (as occurs in clinical hypoxic/ischemic insults) that may ultimately be responsible for disrupting BBB integrity. This article was published in Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology

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