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Institute of Neural Regeneration & Tissue Engineering




Preconditioning and Postconditioning in Rat Hippocampal Neurons [Research Article in PubMed]

Brief Summary: "Conditioning" is a way of preparing cells to survive events and environments that otherwise might be lethal to the cells. Conditioning cells to survive hypoxia and ischemia (low oxygen and low blood flow, as experienced in stroke) has been shown to be possible in brain cells. 'Pre-conditioning' refers to preparing cells to survive a future lethal insult, while 'post-conditioning' refers to rescuing the cell after the lethal insult. In this research paper, new methods and mechanisms of this phenomenon are investigated on hippocampal neurons of the brain. More specifically, the therapeutic potential of conditioning is explored in the context of volatile anesthetic agents and certain cell signaling pathways involving glutamate, calcium, and adenosine. It was found that the effects of anesthetic pre-conditioning and post-conditioning could be additive. In addition, inhibition of NMDA receptors on neurons may mediate anesthetic postconditioning but not preconditioning, while both types of conditioning effects may be mediated through CaMKII signaling in neurons. If these same effects could be shown in humans, this would hold significant potential to save brain tissue from dying in stroke and certain neurological injuries of the brain and spinal cord. This phenomenon may also hold important potential for helping neural stem cells to survive the harsh conditions of being transplanted into the human nervous system.

The image below shows neurons exposed to deprivation of oxygen and glucose, imitating the conditions of an ischemic stroke.

Image of Oxygen-Deprived Neuron


McMurtrey RJ, Zuo Z. Isoflurane preconditioning and postconditioning in rat hippocampal neurons. Brain Res. 2010 Oct 28;1358:184-90. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.08.015. PMID: 20709037

McMurtrey RJ. Analytic Models of Oxygen and Nutrient Diffusion, Metabolism Dynamics, and Architecture Optimization in Three-Dimensional Tissue Constructs with Applications and Insights in Cerebral Organoids. Tissue Engineering Part C. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2015.0375 PMID: 26650970


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