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    The present study was designed to investigate the potential role and the mechanism of equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1) on neuronal apoptosis and neurological deficits after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats. One hundred and thirty-four male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to two hours of MCAO followed by reperfusion. The time course of the expression level of ENT1 and phosphorylation of CREB were detected by western blot and immunofluorescence staining. Another set of animals were administrated with NBTI, the ENT1 inhibitor, by daily intraperitoneal injection starting at 0.5 h post-MCAO, infarction volume and neurological deficits were measured both at 24 h and 72 h post MCAO. We further explored the neuroprotection machenism by using H89, cAMP dependent protein kinase inhibitor, the expression of Bcl-2, Bax, phosphorylated CREB and Cleaved caspase-3 were quantified by Western blot, neuronal apoptosis were analyed by TUNEL staining. The endogenous expression of ENT1 were significantly increased and peaked at 12 h after MCAO. High-dose of NBTI (15 mg/kg) reduced brain infarction volume and improved neurologic deficits both at 24 h and 72 h post MCAO. Moreover, NBTI significantly increased the level of CREB phosphorylation and extracellular adenosine concentration, and decreased the neuronal apoptosis 24 h after MCAO. NBTI treatment reduced the expression of Bax and cleaved caspase-3, while up-regulated Bcl-2 compared with vehicle group. These effects were abolished by H89 pretreatment. ENT1 inhibition prevented neuronal apoptosis and improves neurological deficits through cAMP/PKA/CREB/Bcl-2 signaling pathway after MCAO in rats. ENT1 might be an effective target in the treatment strategy for ischemic stroke. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.


    Dongyun Zhang, Weidong Jin, Hongliang Liu, Tao Liang, Yan Peng, Jun Zhang, Yang Zhang. ENT1 inhibition attenuates apoptosis by activation of cAMP/pCREB/Bcl2 pathway after MCAO in rats. Experimental neurology. 2020 Sep;331:113362

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    PMID: 32445645

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