Potential Role of IGF-I in Hypoxia Tolerance Using A Rat Hypoxic-Ischemic Model: Activation of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α

Xinghe Wang, Jixian Deng, David W. Boyle, Jin Zhong, Wei-Hua Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


Hypoxia preconditioning and subsequent tolerance to hypoxia-ischemia damage is a well-known phenomenon and has significant implications in clinical medicine. In this investigation, we tested the hypothesis that the transcriptional activation of IGF-I is one of the underlying mechanisms for hypoxia-induced neuroprotection. In a rodent model of hypoxia-ischemia, hypoxia preconditioning improved neuronal survival as demonstrated by decreased hypoxia-ischemia-induced neuronal apoptosis. To study the role of IGF-I in hypoxia tolerance, we used in situ hybridization to examine IGF-I mRNA distribution on adjacent tissue sections. In cerebral cortex and hippocampus, hypoxia preconditioning resulted in an increase in neuronal IGF-I mRNA levels with or without hypoxia-ischemia. To test its direct effects, we added IGF-I to primary neuronal culture under varying oxygen concentrations. As oxygen concentration decreased, neuronal survival also decreased, which could be reversed by IGF-I, especially at the lowest oxygen concentration. Interestingly, IGF-I treatment resulted in an activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α), a master transcription factor for hypoxia-induced metabolic adaptation. To evaluate whether IGF-I transcriptional activation correlates with HIF-1α activity, we studied the time course of HIF-1α DNA binding activity in the same rat model of hypoxia-ischemia. After hypoxia-ischemia, there was an increase in HIF-1α DNA binding activity in cortical tissues, with the highest increase around 24 h. Like IGF-I mRNA levels, hypoxia preconditioning increased HIF-1α DNA binding activity alone or with subsequent hypoxia ischemia. Overall, our results suggest that IGF-I transcriptional activation is one of the metabolic adaptive responses to hypoxia, which is likely mediated by a direct activation of HIF-1α.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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