Hypoxia the major cause of ischemia leads to debilitating disease in infants via birth asphyxia and cerebral palsy whereas in adults via heart attack and stroke. A widespread natural protective phenomenon termed Hypoxic Preconditioning occurs when prior exposures to hypoxia eventually results in robust hypoxia resistance. Accordingly we have developed a novel model of sex-specific hypoxic preconditioning in adult zebrafish to mimic the tolerance of mini strokes in human which appears to protect against the severe damage inflicted by a major stroke event. Remarkable difference in the progression pattern of neuroprotection between preconditioning hypoxia followed by acute hypoxia (PH) group, and acute hypoxia (AH) group were observed with noticeable sex difference. Since gender difference has been reported in stroke it was pertinent to investigate whether any such sex difference also exists in PHs protective mechanism against acute ischemic stroke. In order to elucidate the neural molecular mechanisms behind sex difference in neuroprotection induced by PH, a high throughput proteomics approach utilizing iTRAQ was performed, followed by protein enrichment analysis using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Out of thousands of altered proteins in zebrafish brain the ones having critical role either in neuroglial proliferation/differentiation or neurotrophic functions, were validated by analyzing their expression levels in PH, AH and normoxia groups. Results indicate that female zebrafish brains are more protected against the severity of AH. The study also sheds light on the involvement of many signaling pathways underlying sex difference in pre-conditioning induced neuroprotective mechanism, which can be further validated for the therapeutic approach.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience