Pharmacological Inhibition of PERK Attenuates Early Brain Injury After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Rats Through the Activation of Akt

Neuronal apoptosis is a central pathological process in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-induced early brain injury. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was reported to have a vital role in the pathophysiology of neuronal apoptosis in the brain. The present study was designed to investigate the potential effects of ER stress and its downstream signals in early brain injury after SAH. One hundred thirty-four rats were subjected to an endovascular perforation model of SAH. The RNA-activated protein kinase-like ER kinase (PERK) inhibitor GSK2606414 and the Akt inhibitor MK2206 were injected intracerebroventricularly. SAH grade, neurologic scores, and brain water content were measured 72 h after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Expression of PERK and its downstream signals, Akt, Bcl-2, Bax, and cleaved caspase-3, were examined using Western blot analysis. Specific cell types that expressed PERK were detected with double immunofluorescence staining. Neuronal cell death was demonstrated with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL). Our results showed that the expression of p-PERK and its downstream targets, p-eIF2α and ATF4, increased after SAH and peaked at 72 h after SAH. PERK was expressed mostly in neurons. The inhibition of PERK with GSK2606414 reduced p-PERK, p-eIF2α, and ATF4 expression. Furthermore, GSK2606414 treatment increased p-Akt levels and the Bcl-2/Bax ratio as well as decreased cleaved caspase-3 expression and neuronal death, thereby improving neurological deficits at 72 h after SAH. The selective Akt inhibitor MK2206 abolished the beneficial effects of GSK2606414. PERK, the major transducer of ER stress, is involved in neuronal apoptosis after SAH. The inhibition of PERK reduces early brain injury via Akt-related anti-apoptosis pathways. PERK may serve as a promising target for future therapeutic intervention.

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S7307 GSK2606414 GSK2606414 is an orally available, potent, and selective PERK inhibitor with IC50 of 0.4 nM, displaying at least 100-fold selectivity over the other EIF2AKs assayed. GSK2606414 impairs GANT-61 induced autophagy in NB cells with MYCN amplification. GSK2606414 exacerbates ER stress-induced apoptosis in HCT116 cells while reduces the apoptosis in SIL1 KD HeLa cells.

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