Retinol palmitate prevents ischemia-induced cell changes in hippocampal neurons through the Notch1 signaling pathway in mice

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Retinol palmitate, an analog of vitamin A, plays multiple roles in the nervous system, including neural differentiation, axon outgrowth, and neural patterning, and is also an antioxidative agent and thereby potential neuroprotectant for brain ischemia. The present study aimed at investigating the protective effects of retinol palmitate against ischemia-induced brain injury in a bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCCAO) model in mice. Ischemia induced by 20-min BCCAO resulted in significant neuronal morphological changes and reactive astrocyte proliferation in the hippocampus, particularly in the CA1 region, and these changes were accompanied by increased Notch1 expression. Intraperitoneal retinol palmitate administration before ischemia reduced ischemic neurons with Notch1 expression; the differences were statistically significant in both the 1.2 mg/kg group and 12 mg/kg group. These results show that retinol palmitate prevents brain ischemia-induced neuronal injury with Notch1 expression and that Notch1 signaling could be involved in the neuroprotective mechanism. Retinol palmitate could be a treatment option for human brain infarction.

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