Ischemic stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality and disability worldwide. Our previous studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) preconditioning can afford significant neuroprotection against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury in rats. However, it is still unknown whether HBO preconditioning can directly protect primary cultured cortical neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR γ) plays a central role in the regulation of apoptosis, oxidative stress and inflammation as well as affords significant neuroprotection against cerebral I/R injury. 15-deoxy-∆(12,14)-prostaglandin J(2) (15d-PGJ(2)) is an endogenous ligand with a high affinity for PPAR γ. Recently, some studies demonstrate that activation of PPAR γ mediates lipopolysaccharide and anesthetic preconditioning. In the present study, we firstly found that OGD exposure caused the significant damage of cultured cortical neurons evaluated by cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release and caspase-3 activity, which were significantly ameliorated by HBO preconditioning. Furthermore, HBO preconditioning significantly increased the levels of PPAR γ mRNA and protein, PPAR γ DNA binding activity, 15d-PGJ(2) and antioxidant enzymatic activities in primary cultured cortical neurons with OGD exposure. Moreover, PPAR γ antagonist GW9662 dose-dependently abolished the protection of HBO preconditioning in OGD-exposed neurons. GW9662 blocked the increase of PPAR γ DNA binding activity and antioxidant enzymatic activities, but did not influence the 15d-PGJ(2) level in OGD-exposed neurons with HBO preconditioning. However, the cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor NS-398 blocked the production of 15d-PGJ(2) in OGD-exposed neurons with HBO preconditioning. In addition, 15d-PGJ(2) preconditioning could also protect cultured neurons against OGD injury. These results demonstrate that HBO preconditioning has directly beneficial effects on ODG-exposed cortical neurons by the activation of PPAR γ subsequent to the production of 15d-PGJ(2), which in turn increases the downstream antioxidant enzymatic activities.

Zeng, Xie, Dong, Zhang, Wang, Li, Xiong, , (2012). Hyperbaric oxygen preconditioning protects cortical neurons against oxygen-glucose deprivation injury: role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. Brain research, 2012 May;1452():140-50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22444276