Preconditioning to mild oxidative stress mediates astroglial neuroprotection in an IL-10-dependent manner

Niva Segev-Amzaleg, Dorit Trudler, Dan Frenkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of various brain insults, including stroke. Astroglia are the main glial cells that play a fundamental role in maintaining the homeostasis of the CNS. They are important for protection from injury and aid the brain in functional recovery after injuries. It has been shown that the brain can be prepared to withstand an oxidative stress insult by a process known as preconditioning. We used primary astroglial cell culture to investigate whether preconditioning to mild oxidative stress and glucose deprivation (OSGD) can increase both astroglia survival and neuroprotective features. We found that preconditioning astroglia to mild OSGD increases astroglial survival of a second insult through activation of the NF-E2-related factor-2 (Nrf-2) pathway. Moreover, we found that Nrf-2 is highly expressed in adult brain astroglia and that preconditioning to OSGD in vivo, such as in a murine model of ischemic stroke, leads to a significant increase in astroglial Nrf-2 expression. Furthermore, we discovered an increase in neuroprotection, as measured by increased neuronal cell survival, following OSGD in the presence of medium from astroglia exposed to a mild OSGD condition. Interestingly, we discovered a significant increase in astroglial secretion of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 vs. the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β in mild vs. severe oxidative stress, respectively. We demonstrated that preconditioning astroglia to mild oxidative stress increases neuroprotection in an IL-10-dependent manner. By using tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), a known specific activator of Nrf-2, we found that Nrf-2 can enhance IL-10 expression. Further studies of Nrf-2-mediated cellular pathways in astroglia through IL-10 may provide useful insights into the development of therapeutic interventions following oxidative stress insults such as ischemic stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-185
Number of pages10
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Astroglia
  • IL-10
  • Nrf-2
  • Oxidative stress
  • PKC
  • Precondition
  • Stroke


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