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Recombinant Osteopontin Improves Neurological Functional Recovery and Protects Against Apoptosis via PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β Pathway Following Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Wenqian Zhang, Ying Cui, Junling Gao, Ran Li, Xiaohua Jiang, Yanxia Tian, Kaijie Wang, Jianzhong Cui

(Department of Surgery, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:1588-1596

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905700


BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate the potential neuroprotective effect of recombinant osteopontin (r-OPN) on apoptotic changes via modulating phosphoinositide-3-kinase/Akt/glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β) signaling in a rat model of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We subjected 10–12-week-old Sprague-Dawley male rats (n=120) to injection of autologous blood into the right basal ganglia to induce ICH or sham surgery. ICH animals received vehicle administration, r-OPN (4 μL/pup), or r-OPN combined with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor wortmannin (86 ng/pup) at 30 min after injury. Neurological scores and rotarod latencies were evaluated on days 1–5 post-ICH. Brain water content was evaluated on days 1–3 post-ICH. The number of apoptotic cells changes were evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated 2-deoxyuridine 5-triphosphate-biotin nick-end labeling (TUNEL) and hematoxylin staining. Apoptosis-related proteins Bcl-2, Bax, and cleaved caspase-3 (CC3), and the phosphorylation levels of Akt and GSK-3b were assayed by Western blot.
RESULTS: Neurological deficits, rotarod latencies, and brain water content following ICH were reduced in the r-OPN group compared to the vehicle group. r-OPN also attenuated cell death in ICH. Furthermore, treatment with r-OPN significantly increased p-Akt expression and decreased p-GSK-3β. These effects were associated with a decrease in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the suppression of CC3 at 24 h after ICH. Importantly, all the beneficial effects of r-OPN in ICH were abrogated by the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin.
CONCLUSIONS: r-OPN may provide a wide range of neuroprotection by suppressing apoptosis through the PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β signaling pathway after ICH.

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