Prevention of apoptosis-inducing factor translocation is a possible mechanism for protective effects of hepatocyte growth factor against neuronal cell death in the hippocampus after transient forebrain ischemia.J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2006 Nov; 26(11):1354-65.JC
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is one of the prospective agents for therapy against a variety of neurologic and neurodegenerative disorders, although the precise mechanisms for the effect of HGF remain to be elucidated. We showed that treatment with HGF protected hippocampal cornu ammonis (CA) subregion 1 neurons from apoptotic cell death after transient forebrain ischemia. Accumulating evidence indicates that ischemia-induced neuronal damage occurs via caspase-independent pathways. In the present study, we focused on the localization of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF), which is an important protein in the signal-transduction system through caspase-independent pathways, to investigate the possible mechanism for the protective effect of HGF after transient forebrain ischemia. Hepatocyte growth factor attenuated the increase in the expression of AIF protein in the nucleus after transient forebrain ischemia. We further explored the upstream components of AIF translocation. Primary DNA damage induced by Ca(2+) influx and subsequent NO formation are thought to be the initial events for AIF translocation, which results in the subsequent DNA damage by AIF. Hepatocyte growth factor prevented the primary oxidative DNA damage, as was estimated by using anti-8-OHdG (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine) antibody. Oxidative DNA damage after ischemia is known to lead to the activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and p53, resulting in AIF translocation. Marked increases in the PAR polymer formation and the expression of p53 protein after ischemia were effectively prevented by HGF treatment. In the present study, we first showed that HGF was capable of preventing neuronal cell death by inhibiting the primary oxidative DNA damage and then preventing the activation of the PARP/p53/AIF pathway.