Background: We examined the influence of low-dose alcohol consumption on cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in mice and a potential mechanism underlying the neuroprotective effect of low-dose alcohol consumption. Methodology/Principal Findings: C57BL/6 J mice were fed a liquid diet without or with 1% alcohol for 8 weeks, orally treated with rosiglitazone (20 mg/kg/day), a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ)-selective agonist, or GW9662 (3 mg/kg/day), a selective PPARγantagonist, for 2 weeks. The mice were subjected to unilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 90 minutes. Brain injury, DNA fragmentation and nuclear PPARγ protein/activity were evaluated at 24 hours of reperfusion. We found that the brain injury and DNA fragmentation were reduced in 1% alcohol-fed mice compared to nonalcohol-fed mice. Rosiglitazone suppressed the brain injury in nonalcohol-fed mice, but didn't alter the brain injury in alcohol-fed mice. In contrast, GW9662 worsened the brain injury in alcohol-fed mice, but didn't alter the brain injury in nonalcohol-fed mice. Nuclear PPARγ protein/activity at peri-infarct and the contralateral corresponding areas of the parietal cortex was greater in alcohol-fed mice compared to nonalcohol-fed mice. Using differentiated catecholaminergic (CATH.a) neurons, we measured dose-related influences of chronic alcohol exposure on nuclear PPARγ protein/activity and the influence of low-dose alcohol exposure on 2-hour oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)/24-hour reoxygenation-induced apoptosis. We found that low-dose alcohol exposure increased nuclear PPARγ protein/activity and protected against the OGD/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis. The beneficial effect of low-dose alcohol exposure on OGD/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis was abolished by GW9662. Conclusions/Significance: Our findings suggest that chronic consumption of low-dose alcohol protects the brain against I/R injury. The neuroprotective effect of low-dose alcohol consumption may be related to an upregulated PPARγ.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)