Dr. Justin Bickford and Nick Lab publish in Sept 13, 2014 Brain Research Journal

“Endothelin-1-mediated vasoconstriction alters cerebral gene expression in iron homeostasis and eicosanoid metabolism.”
Bickford JS, Ali NF, Nick JA, Al Yahia M, Beachy DE, Dore S, Nick HS, Waters MF. Brain Res 2014.



Endothelins are potent vasoconstrictors and signaling molecules. Their effects are broad, impacting processes ranging from neurovascular and cardiovascular health to cell migration and survival. In stroke, traumatic brain injury or subarachnoid hemorrhage, endothelin-1 (ET-1) is induced resulting in cerebral vasospasm, ischemia, reperfusion and the activation of various pathways. Given the central role that ET-1 plays in these patients and to identify the downstream molecular events specific to transient vasoconstriction, we studied the consequences of ET-1-mediated vasoconstriction of the middle cerebral artery in a rat model. Our observations demonstrate that ET-1 can lead to increases in gene expression, including genes associated with the inflammatory response (Ifnb, Il6, Tnf) and oxidative stress (Hif1a, Myc, Sod2). We also observed inductions (>2 fold) of genes involved in eicosanoid biosynthesis (Pla2g4a, Pla2g4b, Ptgs2, Ptgis, Alox12, Alox15), heme metabolism (Hpx, Hmox1, Prdx1) and iron homeostasis (Hamp, Tf). Our findings demonstrate that mRNA levels for the hormone hepcidin (Hamp) are induced in the brain in response to ET-1, providing a novel target in the treatment of multiple conditions. These changes on the ipsilateral side were also accompanied by corresponding changes in a subset of genes in the contralateral hemisphere. Understanding ET-1-mediated events at the molecular level may lead to better treatments for neurological diseases and provide significant impact on neurological function, morbidity and mortality.

Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Eicosanoids; Focal ischemia; Gene expression; Iron homeostasis