Objective Hypoxia can induce cell death or trigger adaptive mechanisms to guarantee cell survival. Neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NOR-1) works as an early-response protein in response to a variety of environmental stresses. In this study, the authors evaluated the roles of NOR-1 in hypoxia-induced neuronal insults. methods Neuro-2a cells were exposed to oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD). Cell viability, cell morphology, caspase-3 activity, DNA fragmentation, and cell apoptosis were assayed to determine the mechanisms of OGD-induced neuronal insults. RNA and protein analyses were carried out to evaluate the effects of OGD on expressions of NOR-1, cAMP response element-binding (CREB), and cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein 2 (cIAP2) genes. Translations of these gene expressions were knocked down using RNA interference. Mice subjected to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and NOR-1 was immunodetected. results Exposure of neuro-2a cells to OGD decreased cell viability in a time-dependent manner. Additionally, OGD led to cell shrinkage, DNA fragmentation, and cell apoptosis. In parallel, treatment of neuro-2a cells with OGD time dependently increased cellular NOR-1 mRNA and protein expressions. Interestingly, administration of TBI also augmented NOR-1 levels in the impacted regions of mice. As to the mechanism, exposure to OGD increased nuclear levels of the transcription factor CREB protein. Downregulating CREB expression using RNA interference simultaneously inhibited OGD-induced NOR-1 mRNA expression. Also, levels of cIAP2 mRNA and protein in neuro-2a cells were augmented by OGD. After reducing cIAP2 translation, OGD-induced cell death was reduced. Sequentially, application of NOR-1 small interfering RNA to neuro-2a cells significantly inhibited OGD-induced cIAP2 mRNA expression and concurrently alleviated hypoxia-induced alterations in cell viability, caspase-3 activation, DNA damage, and cell apoptosis. coNclusioNs This study shows that NOR-1 can transduce survival signals in neuronal cells responsible for hypoxiainduced apoptotic insults through activation of a CREB/cIAP2-dependent mechanism.
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