It is well-established that reperfusion following cerebral ischemic injury gives rise to secondary injury accompanied by structural and functional damage. However, it remains unclear how global genes changes in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). This study investigated global gene expression in the hippocampi of Wistar rats following transient cerebral IRI using an RNA-sequencing strategy. The results revealed ≥2-fold up-regulation of 156 genes and ≥2-fold down-regulation of 26 genes at 24 h post-reperfusion. Fifteen differentially expressed genes were selected to confirm the RNA-sequencing results. Gene expression levels were dynamic, with the peak expression level of each gene occurring at different time points post-reperfusion. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis classified the differentially expressed genes as mainly involved in inflammation, stress and immune response, glucose metabolism, proapoptosis, antiapoptosis, and biological processes. KEGG pathway analysis suggested that IRI activated different signaling pathways, including focal adhesion, regulation of actin cytoskeleton, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, MAPK signaling, and Jak-STAT signaling. This study describes global gene expression profiles in the hippocampi of Wistar rats using the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model. These findings provide new insights into the molecular pathogenesis of IRI and potential drug targets for the prevention and treatment of IRI in the future.
Keywords: MCAO model; RNA sequencing; gene expression profile; ischemia-reperfusion injury.