Neurovascular protection by adropin in experimental ischemic stroke through an endothelial nitric oxide synthase-dependent mechanism

Changjun Yang, Bianca P. Lavayen, Lei Liu, Brian D. Sanz, Kelly M. DeMars, Jonathan Larochelle, Marjory Pompilus, Marcelo Febo, Yu Yo Sun, Yi Min Kuo, Mansour Mohamadzadeh, Susan A. Farr, Chia Yi Kuan, Andrew A. Butler, Eduardo Candelario-Jalil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adropin is a highly-conserved peptide that has been shown to preserve endothelial barrier function. Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption is a key pathological event in cerebral ischemia. However, the effects of adropin on ischemic stroke outcomes remain unexplored. Hypothesizing that adropin exerts neuroprotective effects by maintaining BBB integrity, we investigated the role of adropin in stroke pathology utilizing loss- and gain-of-function genetic approaches combined with pharmacological treatment with synthetic adropin peptide. Long-term anatomical and functional outcomes were evaluated using histology, MRI, and a battery of sensorimotor and cognitive tests in mice subjected to ischemic stroke. Brain ischemia decreased endogenous adropin levels in the brain and plasma. Adropin treatment or transgenic adropin overexpression robustly reduced brain injury and improved long-term sensorimotor and cognitive function in young and aged mice subjected to ischemic stroke. In contrast, genetic deletion of adropin exacerbated ischemic brain injury, irrespective of sex. Mechanistically, adropin treatment reduced BBB damage, degradation of tight junction proteins, matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity, oxidative stress, and infiltration of neutrophils into the ischemic brain. Adropin significantly increased phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), Akt, and ERK1/2. While adropin therapy was remarkably protective in wild-type mice, it failed to reduce brain injury in eNOS-deficient animals, suggesting that eNOS is required for the protective effects of adropin in stroke. These data provide the first causal evidence that adropin exerts neurovascular protection in stroke through an eNOS-dependent mechanism. We identify adropin as a novel neuroprotective peptide with the potential to improve stroke outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102197
JournalRedox Biology
Volume48
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adropin
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Endothelial nitric oxide synthase
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Neurobehavioral tests
  • Neurovascular unit
  • Permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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