Abstract 3653: Akt3 Offers Stronger Protection than Akt1 Against Brain Injury by Differentially Promoting Mtor Protein Levels In Both In Vitro and In Vivo Stroke Models
Background and Objective: Akt is a serine-threonine kinase that plays critical role in promoting cell survival. Akt consists of three isoforms (Akt1, 2, 3), with Akt3 predominantly expressed in the brain. Although Akt pathway has been shown to mediate neuronal survival in cerebral ischemic injury, it is unclear how these Akt isoforms contribute to neuronal protection, and whether exogenous Akt can protect the brain against ischemic injury or not. In this study, we over-expressed Akt isoforms and its downstream signaling proteins such as FKHR and PRAS40 to investigate the role of the Akt pathway along with its potential relationship with the mTOR pathway in stroke.
Methods: Sprauge Dawley rats (250∼280g) were used for all studies. A lentiviral vector consists of a CMV promoter driving IRES-eGFP was used to clone an active Akt 1 and 3 (cAKt 1 and 3), dominant-negative Akt (AktDN), active FKHR (AAA FKHR), and PRAS40. Lentivirus expressing these genes were added to primary mixed cortical cultures for two days prior to oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) (MOI=1:5). Neuronal survival was measured by LDH release. Lentivirus were stereotaxically injected into the cortex, and rats were subjected to focal ischemia induced by distal MCA occlusion combined with bilateral CCA occlusion. Western blotting and immunofluorescent confocal microscopy were used to detect the expression of Akt isoforms and other proteins in both the Akt and mTOR pathways.
Results: Western blotting analysis showed that both endogenous Akt1 and 3 proteins degraded as early as 1 h after stroke, while Akt2 protein remained unchanged until 24 h after stroke. In vitro studies showed that over-expression of both constitutively active cAkt1 and cAkt3 decreased LDH release after OGD, while AktDN worsened neuronal death (P<0.05). In vivo over-expression of cAkt1, cAkt3 and PRAS40 reduced infarct size after stroke (P<0.01). Gene transfer of cAkt1 and 3 also promoted protein levels of pAkt (phosphorylated Akt), pPRAS40, pFKHR, pPTEN, pmTOR, but not pGSK3β. Both in vitro and in vivo studies showed that over-expression of cAkt3 resulted in a stronger protection than cAkt1 (P<0.05). Interestingly, cAkt3 gene transfer preserved both endogenous protein levels of Akt1 and 3, whereas cAkt1 gene transfer only preserved endogenous Akt1. Furthermore, cAkt3 promoted higher pmTOR levels than cAkt1. Treatment of rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, blocked the protective effects of both cAkt1 and cAkt3 both in vitro and in vivo.
Conclusion: Lentiviral-mediated overexpression of cAkt3 confers stronger protection than that of cAkt1, by maintaining both endogenous Akt1 and Akt3, as well as promoting higher mTOR activities after stroke.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.