The NCX3 isoform of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger contributes to neuroprotection elicited by ischemic postconditioning.
ABSTRACT: It has been recently shown that a short sublethal brain ischemia subsequent to a prolonged harmful ischemic episode may confer ischemic neuroprotection, a phenomenon termed ischemic postconditioning. Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) isoforms, NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3, are plasma membrane ionic transporters widely distributed in the brain and involved in the control of Na(+) and Ca(2+) homeostasis and in the progression of stroke damage. The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of these three proteins in the postconditioning-induced neuroprotection. The NCX protein and mRNA expression was evaluated at different time points in the ischemic temporoparietal cortex of rats subjected to tMCAO alone or to tMCAO plus ischemic postconditioning. The results of this study showed that NCX3 protein and ncx3 mRNA were upregulated in those brain regions protected by postconditioning treatment. These changes in NCX3 expression were mediated by the phosphorylated form of the ubiquitously expressed serine/threonine protein kinase p-AKT, as the p-AKT inhibition prevented NCX3 upregulation. The relevant role of NCX3 during postconditioning was further confirmed by results showing that NCX3 silencing, induced by intracerebroventricular infusion of small interfering RNA (siRNA), partially reverted the postconditioning-induced neuroprotection. The results of this study support the idea that the enhancement of NCX3 expression and activity might represent a reasonable strategy to reduce the infarct extension after stroke.
Project description:Three different Na<sup>+</sup>/Ca<sup>2+</sup> exchanger (NCX) isoforms, NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3, are expressed in brain where they play a relevant role in maintaining Na<sup>+</sup> and Ca<sup>2+</sup> homeostasis. Although the neuroprotective roles of NCX2 and NCX3 in stroke have been elucidated, the relevance of NCX1 is still unknown because of embryonic lethality of its knocking-out, heart dysfunctions when it is overexpressed, and the lack of selectivity in currently available drugs. To overcome these limitations we generated two conditional genetically modified mice that upon tamoxifen administration showed a selective decrease or increase of NCX1 in cortical and hippocampal neurons. Interestingly, in cortex and hippocampus NCX1 overexpression increased, where NCX1 knock-out reduced, both exchanger activity and Akt1 phosphorylation, a neuronal survival signaling. More important, mice overexpressing NCX1 showed a reduced ischemic volume and an amelioration of focal and general deficits when subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Conversely, NCX1-knock-out mice displayed a worsening of brain damage, focal and neurological deficits with a decrease in Akt phosphorylation. These results support the idea that NCX1 overexpression/activation may represent a feasible therapeutic opportunity in stroke intervention.
Project description:Mammalian Na+/Ca2+ exchangers, NCX1 and NCX3, generate splice variants, whereas NCX2 does not. The CBD1 and CBD2 domains form a regulatory tandem (CBD12), where Ca2+ binding to CBD1 activates and Ca2+ binding to CBD2 (bearing the splicing segment) alleviates the Na+-induced inactivation. Here, the NCX2-CBD12, NCX3-CBD12-B, and NCX3-CBD12-AC proteins were analyzed by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass-spectrometry (HDX-MS) to resolve regulatory variances in the NCX2 and NCX3 variants. SAXS revealed the unified model, according to which the Ca2+ binding to CBD12 shifts a dynamic equilibrium without generating new conformational states, and where more rigid conformational states become more populated without any global conformational changes. HDX-MS revealed the differential effects of the B and AC exons on the folding stability of apo CBD1 in NCX3-CBD12, where the dynamic differences become less noticeable in the Ca2+-bound state. Therefore, the apo forms predefine incremental changes in backbone dynamics upon Ca2+ binding. These observations may account for slower inactivation (caused by slower dissociation of occluded Ca2+ from CBD12) in the skeletal vs the brain-expressed NCX2 and NCX3 variants. This may have physiological relevance, since NCX must extrude much higher amounts of Ca2+ from the skeletal cell than from the neuron.
Project description:Ischemic preconditioning (IPC), an important endogenous adaptive mechanism of the CNS, renders the brain more tolerant to lethal cerebral ischemia. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the induction and maintenance of ischemic tolerance in the brain are complex and still remain undefined. Considering the increased expression of the two sodium calcium exchanger (NCX) isoforms, NCX1 and NCX3, during cerebral ischemia and the relevance of nitric oxide (NO) in IPC modulation, we investigated whether the activation of the NO/PI3K/Akt pathway induced by IPC could regulate calcium homeostasis through changes in NCX1 and NCX3 expression and activity, thus contributing to ischemic tolerance. To this aim, we set up an in vitro model of IPC by exposing cortical neurons to a 30-min oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) followed by 3-h OGD plus reoxygenation. IPC was able to stimulate NCX activity, as revealed by Fura-2AM single-cell microfluorimetry. This effect was mediated by the NO/PI3K/Akt pathway since it was blocked by the following: (a) the NOS inhibitors L-NAME and 7-Nitroindazole, (b) the IP3K/Akt inhibitors LY294002, wortmannin and the Akt-negative dominant, (c) the NCX1 and NCX3 siRNA. Intriguingly, this IPC-mediated upregulation of NCX1 and NCX3 activity may control calcium level within endoplasimc reticulum (ER) and mitochondria, respectively. In fact, IPC-induced NCX1 upregulation produced an increase in ER calcium refilling since this increase was prevented by siNCX1. Moreover, by increasing NCX3 activity, IPC reduced mitochondrial calcium concentration. Accordingly, the inhibition of NCX by CGP37157 reverted this effect, thus suggesting that IPC-induced NCX3-increased activity may improve mitochondrial function during OGD/reoxygenation. Collectively, these results indicate that IPC-induced neuroprotection may occur through the modulation of calcium homeostasis in ER and mitochondria through NO/PI3K/Akt-mediated NCX1 and NCX3 upregulation.
Project description:Ground squirrel, a hibernating mammalian species, is more resistant to ischemic brain stress than rat. Gaining insight into the adaptive mechanisms of ground squirrels may help us design treatment strategies to reduce brain damage in patients suffering ischemic stroke. To understand the anti-stress mechanisms in ground squirrel neurons, we studied glutamate toxicity in primary cultured neurons of the Daurian ground squirrel (Spermophilus dauricus). At the neuronal level, for the first time, we found that ground squirrel was more resistant to glutamate excitotoxicity than rat. Mechanistically, ground squirrel neurons displayed a similar calcium influx to the rat neurons in response to glutamate or N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) perfusion. However, the rate of calcium removal in ground squirrel neurons was markedly faster than in rat neurons. This allows ground squirrel neurons to maintain lower level of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) upon glutamate insult. Moreover, we found that Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) activity was higher in ground squirrel neurons than in rat neurons. We also proved that overexpression of ground squirrel NCX2, rather than NCX1 or NCX3, in rat neurons promoted neuron survival against glutamate toxicity. Taken together, our results indicate that ground squirrel neurons are better at maintaining calcium homeostasis than rat neurons and this is likely achieved through the activity of ground squirrel NCX2. Our findings not only reveal an adaptive mechanism of mammalian hibernators at the cellular level, but also suggest that NCX2 of ground squirrel may have therapeutic value for suppressing brain ischemic damage.
Project description:Sodium Calcium exchanger (NCX) proteins utilize the electrochemical gradient of Na+ to generate Ca2+ efflux (forward mode) or influx (reverse mode). In mammals, there are three unique NCX encoding genes-NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3, that comprise the SLC8A family, and mRNA from all three exchangers is expressed in hippocampal pyramidal cells. Furthermore, mutant ncx2-/- and ncx3-/- mice have each been shown to exhibit altered long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampal CA1 region due to delayed Ca2+ clearance after depolarization that alters synaptic transmission. In addition to the role of NCX at the synapse of hippocampal subfields required for LTP, the three NCX isoforms have also been shown to localize to the dendrite of hippocampal pyramidal cells. In the case of NCX1, it has been shown to localize throughout the basal and apical dendrite of CA1 neurons where it helps compartmentalize Ca2+ between dendritic shafts and spines. Given the role for NCX and calcium in synaptic plasticity, the capacity of NCX splice-forms to influence backpropagating action potentials has clear consequences for the induction of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP). To explore this, we examined the effect of NCX localization, density, and allosteric activation on forward and back propagating signals and, next employed a STDP paradigm to monitor the effect of NCX on plasticity using back propagating action potentials paired with EPSPs. From our simulation studies we identified a role for the sodium calcium exchange current in normalizing STDP, and demonstrate that NCX is required at the postsynaptic site for this response. We also screened other mechanisms in our model and identified a role for the Ca2+ activated K+ current at the postsynapse in producing STDP responses. Together, our data reveal opposing roles for the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger current and the Ca2+ activated K+ current in setting STDP.
Project description:Remote limb ischemic postconditioning (RLIP) is a well-established neuroprotective strategy able to protect the brain from a previous harmful ischemic insult through a sub-lethal occlusion of the femoral artery. Neural and humoral mechanisms have been proposed as mediators required to transmit the peripheral signal from limb to brain. Moreover, different studies suggest that protection observed at brain level is associated to a general genetic reprogramming involving also microRNAs (miRNAs) intervention. Methods: Brain ischemia was induced in male rats by transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (tMCAO), whereas RLIP was achieved by one cycle of temporary occlusion of the ipsilateral femoral artery after tMCAO. The expression profile of 810 miRNAs was evaluated in ischemic brain samples from rats subjected either to tMCAO or to RLIP. Among all analyzed miRNAs, there were four whose expression were upregulated after stroke and returned to basal level after RLIP, thus suggesting a possible involvement in RLIP-induced neuroprotection. These selected miRNAs were intracerebroventricularly infused in rats subjected to remote ischemic postconditioning, and their effect was evaluated in terms of brain damage, neurological deficit scores and expression of putative targets. Results: Twenty-one miRNAs, whose expression was significantly affected by tMCAO and by tMCAO plus RLIP, were selected based on microarray microfluidic profiling. Our data showed that: (1) stroke induced an up-regulation of let-7a and miR-143 (2) these two miRNAs were involved in the protective effects induced by RLIP and (3) HIF1-? contributes to their protective effect. Indeed, their expression was reduced after RLIP and the exogenous intracerebroventricularly infusion of let-7a and miR-143 mimics prevented neuroprotection and HIF1-? overexpression induced by RLIP. Conclusions: Prevention of cerebral let-7a and miR-143 overexpression induced by brain ischemia emerges as new potential strategy in stroke intervention.
Project description:Changes in intracellular [Ca(2+)](i) levels have been shown to influence developmental processes that accompany the transition of human oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) into mature myelinating oligodendrocytes and are required for the initiation of the myelination and re-myelination processes. In the present study, we explored whether calcium signals mediated by the selective sodium calcium exchanger (NCX) family members NCX1, NCX2, and NCX3, play a role in oligodendrocyte maturation. Functional studies, as well as mRNA and protein expression analyses, revealed that NCX1 and NCX3, but not NCX2, were divergently modulated during OPC differentiation into oligodendrocyte phenotype. In fact, whereas NCX1 was downregulated, NCX3 was strongly upregulated during oligodendrocyte development. The importance of calcium signaling mediated by NCX3 during oligodendrocyte maturation was supported by several findings. Indeed, whereas knocking down the NCX3 isoform in OPCs prevented the upregulation of the myelin protein markers 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide-3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) and myelin basic protein (MBP), its overexpression induced an upregulation of CNPase and MBP. Furthermore, NCX3-knockout mice showed not only a reduced size of spinal cord but also marked hypo-myelination, as revealed by decrease in MBP expression and by an accompanying increase in OPC number. Collectively, our findings indicate that calcium signaling mediated by NCX3 has a crucial role in oligodendrocyte maturation and myelin formation.
Project description:Delayed calcium deregulation (DCD) plays an essential role in glutamate excitotoxicity, a major detrimental factor in stroke, traumatic brain injury, and various neurodegenerations. In the present study, we examined the role of calpain activation and Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) degradation in DCD and excitotoxic cell death in cultured hippocampal neurons. Exposure of neurons to glutamate caused DCD accompanied by secondary mitochondrial depolarization. Activation of calpain was evidenced by detecting NCX isoform 3 (NCX3) degradation products. Degradation of NCX isoform 1 (NCX1) was below the detection limit of Western blotting. Degradation of NCX3 was detected only after 1 hr of incubation with glutamate, whereas DCD occurred on average within 15 min after glutamate application. Calpeptin, an inhibitor of calpain, significantly attenuated NCX3 degradation but failed to inhibit DCD and excitotoxic neuronal death. Calpain inhibitors I, III, and VI also failed to influence DCD and glutamate-induced neuronal death. On the other hand, MK801, an inhibitor of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors, added shortly after the initial glutamate-induced jump in cytosolic Ca(2+), completely prevented DCD and activation of calpain and strongly protected neurons against excitotoxicity. Taken together, our results suggest that, in glutamate-treated hippocampal neurons, the initial increase in cytosolic Ca(2+) that precedes DCD is insufficient for sustained calpain activation, which most likely occurs downstream of DCD.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchanger is a bi-directional transporter that plays an important role in maintaining the concentration of cytosolic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+) ](i) ) of quiescent platelets and increasing it during activation with some, but not all, agonists. There are two classes of Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchangers: K(+) -independent Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX) and K(+) -dependent Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchanger (NCKX). Platelets have previously been shown to express NCKX1. However, initial studies from our laboratory suggest that NCX may also play a role in platelet activation. The objective of this study was to determine if the human platelet expresses functional NCXs. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH RT-PCR, DNA sequencing and Western blot analysis were utilized to characterize the human platelet Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchangers. Their function during quiescence and collagen-induced activation was determined by measuring [Ca(2+) ](i) with calcium-green/fura-red in response to: changes in the Na(+) and K(+) gradient, NCX pharmacological inhibitors (CBDMB, KB-R7943 and SEA0400) and antibodies specific to extracellular epitopes of the exchangers. KEY RESULTS Human platelets express NCX1.3, NCX3.2 and NCX3.4. The NCXs operate in the Ca(2+) efflux mode in resting platelets and also during their activation with thrombin but not collagen. Collagen-induced increase in [Ca(2+) ](i) was reduced with the pharmacological inhibitors of NCX (CBDMB, KB-R7943 or SEA0400), anti-NCX1 and anti-NCX3. In contrast, anti-NCKX1 enhanced the collagen-induced increase in [Ca(2+) ](i) . CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Human platelets express K(+) -independent Na(+) /Ca(2+) exchangers NCX1.3, NCX3.2 and NCX3.4. During collagen activation, NCX1 and NCX3 transiently reverse to promote Ca(2+) influx, whereas NCKX1 continues to operate in the Ca(2+) efflux mode to reduce [Ca(2+) ](i) .
Project description:Na+-Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) isoforms constitute the major cellular Ca2+ extruding system in neurons and microglia. We herein investigated the role of NCX isoforms in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Their expression and activity were evaluated in neurons and glia of mice expressing the human A53T variant of ?-synuclein (A53T mice), an animal model mimicking a familial form of PD. Western blotting revealed that NCX3 expression in the midbrain of 12-month old A53T mice was lower than that of wild type (WT). Conversely, NCX1 expression increased in the striatum. Immunohistochemical studies showed that glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive astroglial cells significantly increased in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) and in the striatum. However, the number and the density of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons decreased in both brain regions. Interestingly, ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 (IBA-1)-positive microglial cells increased only in the striatum of A53T mice compared to WT. Double immunostaining studies showed that in A53T mice, NCX1 was exclusively co-expressed in IBA-1-positive microglial cells in the striatum, whereas NCX3 was solely co-expressed in TH-positive neurons in SNc. Beam walking and pole tests revealed a reduction in motor performance for A53T mice compared to WT. In vitro experiments in midbrain neurons from A53T and WT mice demonstrated a reduction in NCX3 expression, which was accompanied by mitochondrial overload of Ca2+ ions, monitored with confocal microscopy by X-Rhod-1 fluorescent dye. Collectively, in vivo and in vitro findings suggest that the reduction in NCX3 expression and activity in A53T neurons from midbrain may cause mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal death in this brain area, whereas NCX1 overexpression in microglial cells may promote their proliferation in the striatum.