Glia 2014 Jun 24;62(6):855-80. Epub 2014 Feb 24.
Department of Pharmacology and Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Pharmacology, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123, China.
The roles of cathepsins in the ischemic astrocytic injury remain unclear. Here, we test the hypothesis that activation of cathepsin B and L contributes to the ischemic astrocyte injury via the tBid-mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathways. In the rat models of pMCAO, CA-074Me or Clik148, a selective inhibitor of cathepsin B or cathepsin L, reduced the infarct volume, improved the neurological deficits and increased the MAP2 and GFAP levels. In OGD-induced astrocyte injury, CA-074Me or Clik148 decreased the LDH leakage and increased the GFAP levels. In the ischemic cortex or OGD-induced astrocytes injury, Clik148 or CA-074Me reversed pMCAO or OGD-induced increase in active cathepsin L or cathepsin B at 3 h or 6 h, increase in tBid, reduction in mitochondrial cytochrome-c (Cyt-c) and increase in cytoplastic Cyt-c and active caspase-3 at 12-24 h of the late stage of pMCAO or OGD. CA-074Me or Clik148 also reduced cytosolic and mitochondrial tBid, increased mitochondrial Cyt-c and decreased cytoplastic Cyt-c and active caspase-3 at 6 h of the early stage of Bid activation. CA-074Me or Clik148 blocked the pMCAO-induced release of cathepsin B or L from the lysosomes into the cytoplasm and activation of caspase-3 in ischemic astrocytes at 12 h after ischemia. Concurrent inhibition of cathepsin B and cathepsin L provided better protection on the OGD-induced astrocytic apoptosis than obtained with separate use of each inhibitor. These results suggest that inhibition of the cysteine cathepsin B and cathepsin L activation in ischemic astrocytes contributes to neuroprotection via blocking the tBid-mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway.