Sirtuin 1 Mediates Protection Against Delayed Cerebral Ischemia in Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Response to Hypoxic Postconditioning.

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Journal of the American Heart Association


Background Many therapies designed to prevent delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) and improve neurological outcome in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) have failed, likely because of targeting only one element of what has proven to be a multifactorial disease. We previously demonstrated that initiating hypoxic conditioning before SAH (hypoxic preconditioning) provides powerful protection against DCI. Here, we expanded upon these findings to determine whether hypoxic conditioning delivered at clinically relevant time points after SAH (hypoxic postconditioning) provides similarly robust DCI protection. Methods and Results In this study, we found that hypoxic postconditioning (8% O2 for 2 hours) initiated 3 hours after SAH provides strong protection against cerebral vasospasm, microvessel thrombi, and neurological deficits. By pharmacologic and genetic inhibition of SIRT1 (sirtuin 1) using EX527 and global Sirt1-/- mice, respectively, we demonstrated that this multifaceted DCI protection is SIRT1 mediated. Moreover, genetic overexpression of SIRT1 using Sirt1-Tg mice, mimicked the DCI protection afforded by hypoxic postconditioning. Finally, we found that post-SAH administration of resveratrol attenuated cerebral vasospasm, microvessel thrombi, and neurological deficits, and did so in a SIRT1-dependent fashion. Conclusions The present study indicates that hypoxic postconditioning provides powerful DCI protection when initiated at clinically relevant time points, and that pharmacologic augmentation of SIRT1 activity after SAH can mimic this beneficial effect. We conclude that conditioning-based therapies administered after SAH hold translational promise for patients with SAH and warrant further investigation.

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