In this study, we provide evidence for the first time that membrane-bound endopeptidase neurolysin is up-regulated in different parts of mouse brain affected by focal ischemia-reperfusion in a middle cerebral artery occlusion model of stroke. Radioligand binding, enzymatic and immunoblotting experiments in membrane preparations of frontoparietal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus isolated from the ischemic hemisphere of mouse brain 24 h after reperfusion revealed statistically significant increase (≥ twofold) in quantity and activity of neurolysin compared with sham-operated controls. Cerebellar membranes isolated from the ischemic hemisphere served as negative control supporting the observations that up-regulation of neurolysin occurs in post-ischemic brain regions. This study also documents sustained functional up-regulation of neurolysin in frontoparietal cortical membranes for at least 7 days after stroke, which appears not to be transcriptionally or translationally regulated, but rather depends on translocation of cytosolic neurolysin to the membranes and mitochondria. Considering diversity of endogenous neurolysin substrates (neurotensin, bradykinin, angiotensins I/II, substance P, hemopressin, dynorphin A(1-8), metorphamide, somatostatin) and the well-documented role of these peptidergic systems in pathogenesis of stroke, resistance to ischemic injury and/or post-stroke brain recovery, our findings suggest that neurolysin may play a role in processes modulating the brain's response to stroke and its recovery after stroke.
Keywords: endogenous brain-repair mechanism; ischemic stroke; mitochondria; neuropeptide; peptidase; response to stroke.
© 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.