Ferulic acid prevents cerebral ischemic injury-induced reduction of hippocalcin expression

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Intracellular calcium overload is a critical pathophysiological factor in ischemic injury. Hippocalcin is a neuronal calcium sensor protein that buffers intracellular calcium levels and protects cells from apoptotic stimuli. Ferulic acid exerts a neuroprotective effect in cerebral ischemia through its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammation activity. This study investigated whether ferulic acid contributes to hippocalcin expression during cerebral ischemia and glutamate exposure-induced neuronal cell death. Rats were immediately treated with vehicle or ferulic acid (100 mg/kg, i.v.) after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Brain tissues were collected 24 h after MCAO and followed by assessment of cerebral infarct. Ferulic acid reduced MCAO-induced infarct regions. A proteomics approach elucidated a decrease in hippocalcin in MCAO-operated animals, ferulic acid attenuates the injury-induced decrease in hippocalcin expression. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses confirmed that ferulic acid prevents the injury-induced decrease in hippocalcin. In cultured HT22 hippocampal cells, glutamate exposure increased the intracellular Ca2+ levels, whereas ferulic acid attenuated this increase. Moreover, ferulic acid attenuated the glutamate toxicity-induced decrease in hippocalcin expression. These findings can suggest the possibility that ferulic acid exerts a neuroprotective effect through modulating hippocalcine expression and regulating intracellular calcium levels. Synapse 67:390–398, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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