Neonatal hypoxia is the leading cause of brain damage with birth complications. Many studies have reported proliferation-promoting effect of mild hypoxia on neural stem cells (NSCs). However, how severe hypoxia influences the behavior of NSCs has been poorly explored. In the present study, we investigated the effects of 5, 3, and 1 % oxygen exposure on NSCs in vitro. MTT, neurosphere assay, and 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU) incorporation revealed a quick growth arrest of C17.2 cells and primary NSCs induced by 1 % oxygen exposure. Cell cycle analysis showed that this hypoxia exposure caused a significant increase of cells in G0/G1 phase and decrease of cells in S phase that is associated with decrease of Cyclin D1. Interestingly, the expression of cold inducible RNA-binding protein (CIRBP), a cold responsive gene reacting to multiple cellular stresses, was decreased in parallel with the 1 % oxygen-induced proliferation inhibition. Forced expression of CIRBP under hypoxia could restore the proliferation of NSCs, as showed by EdU incorporation and cell cycle analysis. Furthermore, the expression of Cyclin D1 under hypoxia was also restored by CIRBP overexpression. Taken together, these data suggested a growth-suppressing effect of severe hypoxia on NSCs and, for the first time, revealed a novel role of CIRBP in hypoxia-induced cell cycle arrest, suggesting that modulating CIRBP may be utilized for preventing hypoxia-induced neonatal brain injury.
Background: Neuron apoptosis mediated by hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) in hippocampus is one of the most important factors accounting for the chronic hypobaric hypoxia induced cognitive impairment. As a neuroprotective molecule that is up-regulated in response to various environmental stress, CIRBP was reported to crosstalk with HIF-1α under cellular stress. However, its function under chronic hypobaric hypoxia remains unknown.Objective: In this study, we tried to identify the role of CIRBP in HIF-1α mediated neuron apoptosis under chronic hypobaric hypoxia and find a possible method to maintain its potential neuroprotective in long-term high altitude environmental exposure.Methods: We established a chronic hypobaric hypoxia rat model as well as a tissue culture model where SH-SY5Y cells were exposed to 1% hypoxia. Based on these models, we measured the expressions of HIF-1α and CIRBP under hypoxia exposure and examined the apoptosis of neurons by TUNEL immunofluorescence staining and western blot analysis of apoptosis related proteins. In addition, by establishing HIF-1α shRNA and pEGFP-CIRBP plasmid transfected cells, we confirmed the role of HIF-1α in chronic hypoxia induced neuron apoptosis and identified the influence of CIRBP over-expression upon HIF-1α and neuron apoptosis in the process of exposure. Furthermore, we measured the expression of the reported hypoxia related miRNAs in both models and the influence of miRNAs' over-expression/knock-down upon CIRBP in the process of HIF-1α mediated neuron apoptosis.Results: HIF-1α expression as well as neuron apoptosis was significantly elevated by chronic hypobaric hypoxia both in vivo and in vitro. CIRBP was induced in the early stage of exposure (3d/7d); however as the exposure was prolonged (21d), CIRBP level of the hypoxia group became significantly lower than that of control. In addition, HIF-1α knockdown significantly decreased neuron apoptosis under hypoxia, suggesting HIF-1α may be pro-apoptotic in the process of exposure. CIRBP over-expression significantly suppressed HIF-1α up-regulation in hypoxia and inhibited HIF-1α mediated neuron apoptosis. Interestingly, miR-23a was also induced by hypoxia exposure and showed the same changing tendency with CIRBP (increasing in 3d/7d, decreasing in 21d). In addition, over-expressing miR-23a up-regulated CIRBP, down-regulated HIF-1α and attenuated neuron apoptosis.Conclusion: Cold inducible RNA binding protein is involved in chronic hypoxia induced neuron apoptosis by down-regulating HIF-1α expression, and MiR-23a may be an important tool to maintain CIRBP level and function.
The study of individuals at high‐altitude (HA) exposure provides an important opportunity for unraveling physiological and psychological mechanism of brain underlying hypoxia condition. However, this has rarely been assessed longitudinally. We aim to explore the cognitive and cerebral microstructural alterations after chronic HA exposure. We recruited 49 college freshmen who immigrated to Tibet and followed up for 2 years. Control group consisted of 49 gender and age‐matched subjects from sea level. Neuropsychological tests were also conducted to determine whether the subjects' cognitive function had changed in response to chronic HA exposure. Surface‐based cortical and subcortical volumes were calculated from structural magnetic resonance imaging data, and tract‐based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis of white matter (WM) fractional anisotropy (FA) based on diffusion weighted images were performed. Compared to healthy controls, the high‐altitude exposed individuals showed significantly lower accuracy and longer reaction times in memory tests. Significantly decreased gray matter volume in the caudate region and significant FA changes in multiple WM tracts were observed for HA immigrants. Furthermore, differences in subcortical volume and WM integration were found to be significantly correlated with the cognitive changes after 2 years' HA exposure. Cognitive functions such as working memory and psychomotor function were found to be impaired during chronic HA. Differences of brain subcortical volumes and WM integration between HA and sea‐level participants indicated potential impairments in the brain structural modifications and microstructural integrity of WM tracts after HA exposure.
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At high-altitude, hypoxia together with other physiological stressors, including low temperature, ultraviolet rays and dehydration, may lead to a decline in cognitive function (1). Previous studies have proved that acute and chronic hypoxia exposure during highaltitude expedition cause impairment in working memory, learning ability, attention and concentration. Recently, according to a previous study based on Tibet immigration population in China, two-year hypoxia Summary Hypoxia exposure during high-altitude expedition cause psychomotor impairment. Neuroimaging studies indicated that the impairment may be significantly associated with neuron loss and decreased regional homogeneity (ReHo) in several brain regions, suggesting the neural functionality in these regions may be utilized to predict psychomotor impairment under exposure. In this study, 69 subjects come from Shaanxi-Tibet immigrant cohort. Reaction time (RT) tasks were performed to measure the subject's psychomotor function before and after 2-year high-altitude exposure. For each individual, the RT differences between pre-exposure and post-exposure were calculated, which were referred to as "targets" in model establishment. Rs-fMRI data were acquired at the same time with RT tasks. For each individual, the map of ReHo alteration was generated, from which the patterns would be recognized. A pattern recognition procedure was utilized to train and test the predictive models. Two different cross-validation strategies were utilized to evaluate the model performance: leave-one-out cross-validation and four-fold cross-validation. For the models displaying significant R 2 and MSE, weight maps were built. As a result, the predictive models were able to decode the changes of simple and recognition reaction time from the alterations of brain activation under the exposure. The regions with highest contributions to the predictions were bilateral putamen and bilateral pallidum, suggesting that predictions were mainly based on the patterns concentrated in these regions. This study was a proof of concept study designed to examine whether individual-level psychomotor impairment under highaltitude exposure could be predicted by a combination of pattern recognition approach and neuroimaging data.
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