Inhibition of Reactive Astrocytes with Fluorocitrate Ameliorates Learning and Memory Impairment Through Upregulating CRTC1 and Synaptophysin in Ischemic Stroke Rats.Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Nov; 39(8):1151-1163.CM
Ischemic stroke often causes motor and cognitive deficits. Deregulated glia gap junction communication, which is reflected by increased protein levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and connexin 43 (Cx43), has been observed in ischemic hippocampus and has been associated with cognitive impairment in animal stroke models. Here, we tested the hypothesis that reactive astrocytes-mediated loss of synaptophysin (SYP) and CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 1 (CRTC1) contribute to dysfunction in glia gap junction communication and memory impairment after ischemic stroke. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to a 90-min middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) with 7-day reperfusion. Fluorocitrate (1 nmol), the reversible inhibitor of the astrocytic tricarboxylic acid cycle, was injected into the right lateral ventricle of MCAO rats once every 2 days starting immediately before reperfusion. The Morris water maze was used to assess memory in conjunction with western blotting and immunostaining to detect protein expression and distribution in the hippocampus. Our results showed that ischemic stroke caused significant memory impairment accompanied by increased protein levels of GFAP and Cx43 in hippocampal tissue. In addition, the levels of several key memory-related important proteins including SYP, CRTC1, myelin basic protein and high-mobility group-box-1 were significantly reduced in the hippocampal tissue. Of note, inhibition of reactive astrocytes with fluorocitrate was shown to significantly reverse the above noted changes induced by ischemic stroke. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that inhibiting reactive astrocytes with fluorocitrate immediately before reperfusion may protect against ischemic stroke-induced memory impairment through the upregulation of CRTC1 and SYP.