Transcriptome analysis identifies key metabolic changes in the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) brain in response to hypoxia and reoxygenation
ForfatterHoff, Mariana Leivas Müller; Fabrizius, Andrej; Czech-Damal, Nicole U.; Folkow, Lars; Burmester, Thorsten
The brain of diving mammals tolerates low oxygen conditions better than the brain of most terrestrial mammals. Previously, it has been demonstrated that the neurons in brain slices of the hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) withstand hypoxia longer than those of mouse, and also tolerate reduced glucose supply and high lactate concentrations. This tolerance appears to be accompanied by a shift in the oxidative energy metabolism to the astrocytes in the seal while in terrestrial mammals the aerobic energy production mainly takes place in neurons. Here, we used RNA-Seq to compare the effect of hypoxia and reoxygenation in vitro on brain slices from the visual cortex of hooded seals. We saw no general reduction of gene expression, suggesting that the response to hypoxia and reoxygenation is an actively regulated process. The treatments caused the preferential upregulation of genes related to inflammation, as found before e.g. in stroke studies using mammalian models. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses showed a downregulation of genes involved in ion transport and other neuronal processes, indicative for a neuronal shutdown in response to a shortage of O2 supply. These differences may be interpreted in terms of an energy saving strategy in the seal's brain. We specifically analyzed the regulation of genes involved in energy metabolism. Hypoxia and reoxygenation caused a similar response, with upregulation of genes involved in glucose metabolism and downregulation of the components of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. We also observed upregulation of the monocarboxylate transporter Mct4, suggesting increased lactate efflux. Together, these data indicate that the seal brain responds to the hypoxic challenge by a relative increase in the anaerobic energy metabolism.
Source at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0169366 .