Image_1_Dl-3-n-Butylphthalide Reduces Cognitive Impairment Induced by Chronic Cerebral Hypoperfusion Through GDNF/GFRα1/Ret Signaling Preventing Hippocampal Neuron Apoptosis.TIF
Hippocampal neuron death is a key factor in vascular dementia (VD) induced by chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (CCH). Dl-3-n-butylphthalide (NBP) is a multiple-effects drug. Therefore, the potential molecular mechanisms underlying CCH and its feasible treatment should be investigated. This study had two main purposes: first, to identify a potential biomarker in a rat model of CCH induced VD using antibody microarrays; and second, to explore the neuroprotective role of NBP at targeting the potential biomarker. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)/GDNF family receptor alpha-1 (GFRα1)/receptor tyrosine kinase (Ret) signaling is altered in the hippocampus of CCH rats; however, NBP treatment improved cognitive function, protected against hippocampal neuron apoptosis via regulation of GDNF/GFRα1/Ret, and activated the phosphorylation AKT (p-AKT) and ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2) signaling. We also found that 1 h oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) followed by 48 h reperfusion (R) in cultured hippocampal neurons led to downregulation of GDNF/GFRα1/Ret. NBP upregulated the signaling and increased neuronal survival. Ret inhibitor (NVP-AST487) inhibits Ret and downstream effectors, including p-AKT and p-ERK1/2. Additionally, both GDNF and GFRα1 expression are markedly inhibited in hippocampal neurons by coincubation with NVP-AST487, particularly under conditions of OGD/R. GDNF/GFRα1/Ret signaling and neuronal viability can be maintained by NBP, which activates p-AKT and p-ERK1/2, increases expression of Bcl-2, and decreases expression of Bax and cleaved caspase-3. The current study showed that GDNF/GFRα1/Ret signaling plays an essential role in the CCH induced VD. NBP was protective against hippocampal neuron apoptosis, and this was associated with regulation of GDNF/GFRα1/Ret and AKT/ERK1/2 signaling pathways, thus reducing cognitive impairment.