The p53 inactivators pifithrin-μ and pifithrin-α mitigate TBI-induced neuronal damage through regulation of oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, autophagy and mitophagy

Ling Yu Yang, Nigel H. Greig, David Tweedie, Yoo Jin Jung, Yung Hsiao Chiang, Barry J. Hoffer, Jonathan P. Miller, Ke Hui Chang, Jia Yi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common causes of death and disability worldwide. We investigated whether inhibition of p53 using pifithrin (PFT)-α or PFT-μ provides neuroprotective effects via p53 transcriptional dependent or -independent mechanisms, respectively. Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to controlled cortical impact TBI followed by the administration of PFTα or PFT-μ (2 mg/kg, i.v.) at 5 h after TBI. Brain contusion volume, as well as sensory and motor functions were evaluated at 24 h after TBI. TBI-induced impairments were mitigated by both PFT-α and PFT-μ. Fluoro-Jade C staining was used to label degenerating neurons within the TBI-induced cortical contusion region that, together with Annexin V positive neurons, were reduced by PFT-μ. Double immunofluorescence staining similarly demonstrated that PFT-μ significantly increased HO-1 positive neurons and mRNA expression in the cortical contusion region as well as decreased numbers of 4-hydroxynonenal (4HNE)-positive cells. Levels of mRNA encoding for p53, autophagy, mitophagy, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory related genes and proteins were measured by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemical staining, respectively. PFT-α, but not PFT-μ, significantly lowered p53 mRNA expression. Both PFT-α and PFT-μ lowered TBI-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and IL-6) mRNA levels as well as TBI-induced autophagic marker localization (LC3 and p62). Finally, treatment with PFT-μ mitigated TBI-induced declines in mRNA levels of PINK-1 and SOD2. Our data suggest that both PFT-μ and PFT-α provide neuroprotective actions through regulation of oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, autophagy, and mitophagy mechanisms, and that PFT-μ, in particular, holds promise as a TBI treatment strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113135
JournalExperimental Neurology
Volume324
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • Mitophagy
  • Neuroinflammation
  • p53
  • PFT-α
  • PFT-μ
  • Pifithrin analogs
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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