The neuroprotective role of schizandrin (SA) in cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) was recently highlighted. However, whether SA plays a regulatory role on autophagy in cerebral I/R injury is still unclear. This study aimed to explore whether the neuroprotective mechanisms of SA were linked to its regulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/autophagy pathway in vivo and in vitro. The present study confirmed that SA significantly improved oxygen-glucose deprivation/re-oxygenation (OGD/R)-induced PC12 cells injury. The results of immunoblotting and confocal microscope showed that SA decreased autophagy in OGD/R-injured PC12 cells, which was reflected by the decreased Beclin-1 and LC3-II expression, autophagy flux level, and LC3 puncta formation. In addition, the autophagy inducer rapamycin partially prevented the effects of SA on cell viability and autophagy after OGD/R, whereas the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) exerted the opposite effect. The results of Western blotting showed that SA markedly decreased the phosphorylation of AMPK (p-AMPK), whereas the phosphor-mTOR (p-mTOR) levels increased in the presence of OGD/R insult. Furthermore, pretreatment with the AMPK inducer AICAR partially reversed the protective effects and autophagy inhibition of SA. However, AMPK inhibitor Compound C pretreatment further promoted the inhibition of SA on autophagy induction and cell damage induced by OGD/R. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that SA protects against OGD/R insult by inhibiting autophagy through the regulation of the AMPK-mTOR pathway and that SA may have therapeutic value for protecting neurons from cerebral ischemia.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited