The authors examined the protein expression of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE/Ref-1), a multifunctional protein in the DNA base excision repair pathway, before and after transient focal ischemia in mice. Immunohistochemistry showed the nuclear expression of APE/Ref-1 in the entire region of the control brains. Nuclear immunoreactivity was decreased as early as 5 minutes after 60 minutes of ischemia in the ischemic core, which was followed by a significant reduction of APE/Ref-1-positive cells in the entire middle cerebral artery territory. Western blot analysis of the sample from the nonischemic brain showed a characteristic 37-kDa band, which was reduced after ischemia. A significant amount of DNA fragmentation was observed at 24 hours, but not at 4 hours, after ischemia. The authors' data provide the first evidence that APE/Ref-1 rapidly decreases after transient focal ischemia, and that this reduction precedes the peak of DNA fragmentation in the brain regions that are destined to show necrosis and apoptosis. Although further examination is necessary to elucidate the direct relationship between the APE/Ref-1 decrease and ischemic necrosis and apoptosis, our results suggest the possibility that rapid decrease of APE/Ref-1 and the failure of the DNA repair mechanism may contribute to necrosis or apoptosis after transient focal ischemia.
- DNA base excision repair
- Transient focal cerebral ischemia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine