DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines12030635 ISSN: 2227-9059

Neuroprotective Effects of Krypton Inhalation on Photothrombotic Ischemic Stroke

Viktoriya V. Antonova, Denis N. Silachev, Egor Y. Plotnikov, Irina B. Pevzner, Elmira I. Yakupova, Mikhail V. Pisarev, Ekaterina A. Boeva, Zoya I. Tsokolaeva, Maxim A. Lyubomudrov, Igor V. Shumov, Andrey V. Grechko, Oleg A. Grebenchikov
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

This is the first in vivo study to investigate the neuroprotective effects of krypton on focal cerebral ischemia. The aim of the study was to analyze the effect of 2 h of inhalation of a krypton–oxygen mixture (Kr 70%/O2 30%) on the recovery of neurological functions and the degree of brain damage in rats after photoinduced ischemic stroke (PIS) and to investigate the possible mechanisms responsible for this neuroprotection. Experiments were performed on male Wistar rats weighing 250–300 g (n = 32). Animals were randomized into four groups. Two groups (n = 20) underwent photoinduced ischemic stroke, followed by 2 h of inhalation of krypton–oxygen mixture consisting of Kr 70%/O2 30% or a nitrogen–oxygen breathing mixture consisting of N2 70%/O2 30%, followed by neurological examinations on days 3 and 7. The other two groups (n = 12) received only gas mixtures of the same concentration and exposure duration as in those in the PIS groups, then Western blot analysis of the potential molecular mechanisms was performed. The results of the study show that treatment with the krypton–oxygen mixture consisting of Kr 70%/O2 30% improves the neurological status on day 7 of observation, reduces the lesion volume according to the MRI examination and the number of Iba-1- and caspase-3-positive cells in the damaged area, promotes the activation of neoangiogenesis (an increase in the von Willebrand factor), and reduces the penumbra area and the number of NeuN-positive cells in it on day 14 of observation. Inhalation of the krypton–oxygen mixture also significantly increases the levels of phosphorylated AKT kinase (protein kinase B) and glycogen synthase kinase 3b (pGSK3b) and promotes the expression of transcription factor Nrf2, which was accompanied by the lowered expression of transcription factor NFkB (p50). Thus, we showed pronounced neuroprotection induced by krypton inhalation after stroke and identified the signaling pathways that may be responsible for restoring neurological functions and reducing damage.

More from our Archive