AbstractBackground and Purpose—
Exosomes play a pivotal role in neurogenesis. In the peri-infarct area after stroke, axons begin to regenerate but are inhibited by astrocyte scar formation. The direct effect and underlying molecular mechanisms of astrocyte-derived exosomes on axonal outgrowth after ischemia are not known.Methods—
Using a semaphorin 3A (Sema3A) inhibitor, we explored neuronal signaling during axonal outgrowth after ischemia in rats subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion and in cultured cortical neurons challenged with oxygen-glucose deprivation. Furthermore, we assessed whether this inhibitor suppressed astrocyte activation and regulated astrocyte-derived exosomes to enhance axonal outgrowth after ischemia.Results—
In rats subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion, we administered a Sema3A inhibitor into the peri-infarct area from 7 to 21 days after occlusion. We found that phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament-immunoreactive axons were increased, glial fibrillary acidic protein–immunoreactive astrocytes were decreased, and functional recovery was promoted at 28 days after middle cerebral artery occlusion. In cultured neurons, the Sema3A inhibitor decreased Rho family GTPase 1, increased R-Ras, which phosphorylates Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β), selectively increased phosphorylated GSK-3β in axons, and thereby enhanced phosphorylated high-molecular weight neurofilament-immunoreactive axons after oxygen-glucose deprivation. In cultured astrocytes, the Sema3A inhibitor suppressed activation of astrocytes induced by oxygen-glucose deprivation. Exosomes secreted from ischemic astrocytes treated with the Sema3A inhibitor further promoted axonal elongation and increased prostaglandin D2 synthase expression on microarray analysis. GSK-3β+ and prostaglandin D2 synthase+ neurons were robustly increased after treatment with the Sema3A inhibitor in the peri-infarct area.Conclusions—
Neuronal Rho family GTPase 1/R-Ras/Akt/GSK-3β signaling, axonal GSK-3β expression, and astrocyte-derived exosomes with prostaglandin D2 synthase expression contribute to axonal outgrowth and functional recovery after stroke.