14-3-3γ is an important early ischemia-inducible protective factor against ischemic cell death in cerebral cortical neurons. We investigated the anti-apoptosis mechanism of enhanced 14-3-3γ mediated by preconditioning exercise-induced brain ischemic tolerance after stroke. Rats were assigned to four groups: exercise and ischemia (Ex group), ischemia and no exercise (No-Ex group), exercise and no ischemia (Ex-only group), and no exercise and ischemia (control group). Rats were trained on a treadmill for 5 days a week for 3 weeks (running speed, 25 m/min; running duration, 30 min/day). After the exercise program, stroke was induced by left middle cerebral artery occlusion. The infarct volume, neurological deficits, and motor function, as well as expression levels of hypoxia-induced factor-1α (HIF-1α), 14-3-3γ, P2X7 receptors, p-β-catenin Ser37, Bax, and caspase 3 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and western blotting. The expression of HIF-1α and 14-3-3γ significantly increased in neurons and astrocytes in the Ex-only group. HIF-1α was co-expressed with P2X7 receptor- and GFAP-positive astrocytes. After stroke, the Ex group had significantly reduced brain infarction. HIF-1α and 14-3-3γ significantly increased in the Ex group compared to the No-Ex group. In addition, p-β-catenin Ser37 significantly increased following elevated 14-3-3γ; in contrast, Bax and caspase 3 were significantly reduced in the Ex group. Our findings suggest that preconditioning exercise prior to ischemia induces neuron- and astrocyte-mediated brain ischemic tolerance through increased expression of HIF-1α and 14-3-3γ, which are intrinsic protective factors; the upregulated 14-3-3γ induced by preconditioning exercise reduces ischemic neuronal cell death through the 14-3-3γ/p-β-catenin Ser37/Bax/caspase 3 anti-apoptotic pathway.
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The authors greatly appreciate the assistance of Ms. Megumi Sumizono and Mr. Koki Ueda, and are grateful to Ms. Hui Gao for excrement technical assistance. This work was supported by grant from the JSPS KAKENHI (Grant no. JP17K01459 to Harutoshi Sakakima). This study was supported by grants from the JSPS KAKENHI (Grant no. JP16K10746 to Kiyoshi Kikuchi), General Insurance Association of Japan (to Kiyoshi Kikuchi), ZENKYOREN (National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives) of Japan (to Kiyoshi Kikuchi), and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Welfare Foundation of Japan (to Kiyoshi Kikuchi).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
All experiments were performed according to national and institutional guidelines and were approved by the appropriate authority.
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