Extracellular Visfatin has Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase Enzymatic Activity and is Neuroprotective Against Ischemic Injury

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Visfatin, a novel adipokine, is predominantly produced by visceral adipose tissue and exists in intracellular and extracellular compartments. The intracellular form of visfatin is proved to be nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) and exhibits neuroprotection through maintaining intracellular NAD+ pool. However, whether extracellular form of visfatin has NAMPT activity and the effect of extracellular visfatin in cerebral ischemia are unknown.

Methods and Results:

Plasma concentrations of visfatin, NAD+, and ATP were increased in mice upon cerebral ischemia. Cultured glia, but not neuron, was able to secrete visfatin. Oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) stress increased the secretion of visfatin from glia. Extracellular recombinant mouse wild-type visfatin, but not mouse H247A-mutant enzymatic-dead visfatin, had NAMPT enzymatic function in vitro. Treatment of wild-type visfatin, but not H247A-mutant enzymatic-dead visfatin, significantly attenuated detrimental effect of OGD on the cell viability and apoptosis in both cultured mouse neuron and glia. Treatment of neutralizing antibody, abolished the protective effect of extracellular visfatin on cell viability, but failed to block the antiapoptotic effect of extracellular visfatin. At last, we observed that plasma visfatin concentrations decreased in 6-month-old but not 3-month-old SHR-SP compared with that in age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats. Inhibition of NAMPT enzymatic function of visfatin (by FK866) accelerated the occurrence of stroke in SHR-SP.


Extracellular visfatin has NAMPT enzymatic activity and maybe be neuroprotective just as intracellular visfatin in cerebral ischemic injury.

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