Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The purpose of the present study was to explore the neuroprotective role of delta opioid receptors (DOR) in the rat cortex in hypoxic preconditioning. Materials and methods: Rats were randomly divided into 8 groups: control (C), sham (S), hypoxic preconditioning (PC), severe hypoxia (SH), PC + SH, PC + SH + Saline (PS), PC + SH + DPDPE (DPDPE, selective DOR agonist), PC + SH + NT (NT, Naltrindole, selective DOR antagonist). Drugs were administered intracerebroventrically. Twenty four h after the end of 3 consecutive days of PC (10% O2, 2 h/day), the rats were subjected to severe hypoxia (7% O2 for 3 h). Bcl-2 and cyt-c were measured by western blot, and caspase-3 was observed immunohistochemically. Results: Bcl-2 expressions in the PC group were higher than in control, SH, and PC + SH groups. Even though there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of cyt-c levels, caspase-3 immunoreactivity of cortical neurons and glial cells in the severe hypoxia and NT groups were higher than in the control, sham, and hypoxic preconditioning groups. DPDPE administration diminished caspase-3 immunoreactivity compared with all of the severe hypoxia groups.Conclusions: These results suggest that cortical cells are resistant to apoptosis via increased expression of Bcl-2 and decreased immunoreactivity of caspase-3 in the cortex, and that DOR is involved in neuroprotection induced by hypoxic preconditioning via the caspase-3 pathway in cortical neurons.


Hypoxic preconditioning, delta opioid receptors, neuroprotection

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