Neuroprotective agents administered post-cerebral ischemia have failed so far in the clinic to promote significant recovery. Thus, numerous efforts were redirected toward prophylactic approaches such as preconditioning as an alternative therapeutic strategy. Our laboratory has revealed a novel long-term window of cerebral ischemic tolerance mediated by resveratrol preconditioning (RPC) that lasts for 2 weeks in mice. To identify its mediators, we conducted an RNA-seq experiment on the cortex of mice 2 weeks post-RPC, which revealed 136 differentially expressed genes. The majority of genes (116/136) were downregulated upon RPC and clustered into biological processes involved in transcription, synaptic signaling, and neurotransmission. The downregulation in these processes was reminiscent of metabolic depression, an adaptation used by hibernating animals to survive severe ischemic states by downregulating energy-consuming pathways. Thus, to assess metabolism, we used a neuronal-astrocytic co-culture model and measured the cellular respiration rate at the long-term window post-RPC. Remarkably, we observed an increase in glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration efficiency upon RPC. We also observed an increase in the expression of genes involved in pyruvate uptake, TCA cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation, all of which indicated an increased reliance on energy-producing pathways. We then revealed that these nuclear and mitochondrial adaptations, which reduce the reliance on energy-consuming pathways and increase the reliance on energy-producing pathways, are epigenetically coupled through acetyl-CoA metabolism and ultimately increase baseline ATP levels. This increase in ATP would then allow the brain, a highly metabolic organ, to endure prolonged durations of energy deprivation encountered during cerebral ischemia.
- Brain metabolism
- Brain transcriptomic
- Cerebral ischemia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience