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01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Neuroinflammation 1/2019

Viral-mediated gene delivery of TMBIM6 protects the neonatal brain via disruption of NPR-CYP complex coupled with upregulation of Nrf-2 post-HI

Journal of Neuroinflammation > Ausgabe 1/2019
Desislava Doycheva, Ningbo Xu, Jiping Tang, John Zhang
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Oxidative stress, inflammation, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress play a major role in the pathogenesis of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) injury. ER stress results in the accumulation of unfolded proteins that trigger the NADPH-P450 reductase (NPR) and the microsomal monooxygenase system which is composed of cytochrome P450 members (CYP) generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as the release of inflammatory cytokines.
We explored the role of Bax Inhibitor-1 (BI-1) protein, encoded by the Transmembrane Bax inhibitor Motif Containing 6 (TMBIM6) gene, in protection from ER stress after HI brain injury. BI-1 may attenuate ER stress-induced ROS production and release of inflammatory mediators via (1) disruption of the NPR-CYP complex and (2) upregulation of Nrf-2, a redox-sensitive transcription factor, thus promoting an increase in anti-oxidant enzymes to inhibit ROS production. The main objective of our study is to evaluate BI-1’s inhibitory effects on ROS production and inflammation by overexpressing BI-1 in 10-day-old rat pups.


Ten-day-old (P10) unsexed Sprague-Dawley rat pups underwent right common carotid artery ligation, followed by 1.5 h of hypoxia. To overexpress BI-1, rat pups were intracerebroventricularly (icv) injected at 48 h pre-HI with the human adenoviral vector-TMBIM6 (Ad-TMBIM6). BI-1 and Nrf-2 silencing were achieved by icv injection at 48 h pre-HI using siRNA to elucidate the potential mechanism. Percent infarcted area, immunofluorescent staining, DHE staining, western blot, and long-term neurobehavior assessments were performed.


Overexpression of BI-1 significantly reduced the percent infarcted area and improved long-term neurobehavioral outcomes. BI-1’s mediated protection was observed to be via inhibition of P4502E1, a major contributor to ROS generation and upregulation of pNrf-2 and HO-1, which correlated with a decrease in ROS and inflammatory markers. This effect was reversed when BI-1 or Nrf-2 were inhibited.


Overexpression of BI-1 increased the production of antioxidant enzymes and attenuated inflammation by destabilizing the complex responsible for ROS production. BI-1’s multimodal role in inhibiting P4502E1, together with upregulating Nrf-2, makes it a promising therapeutic target.
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