Glycine-Histidine-Lysine (GHK) Alleviates Astrocytes Injury of Intracerebral Hemorrhage via the Akt/miR-146a-3p/AQP4 Pathway
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a major type of cerebrovascular disease with poor prognosis. Recent studies have shown that Glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine (GHK) is a kind of natural human tripeptide which could inhibit inflammation and against neurodegenerative diseases, but neither its role nor the mechanisms in ICH have yet been explicit. Currently, we investigated the possible strategies of GHK on ICH injury. Neurological deficit scores, brain water content, Nissl staining, and aquaporin 4 (AQP4) immunohistochemistry were detected in different groups of rats. The expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) was examined by real-time PCR. Inflammatory factors were detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Cell viability and cell proliferation were detected by Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8). Matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), MMP9, tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1), AQP4 expression were detected/assessed using western blot. We observed that 5 and 10 μg/g of GHK improved neurological recovery by significantly reducing brain water content, improving neurological deficits, and promoting neuron survival. Besides, GHK alleviated inflammatory reaction and downregulated AQP4 expression. Furthermore, the effects of GHK on astrocyte were associated with the upregulation of miRNA-146a-3p, which partially regulated the expression of AQP4. Our results demonstrated that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway participated in the GHK-induced upregulation of miR-146a-3p and miR-146a-3p/AQP4 interaction plays a role in the injury following ICH. These findings suggested that GHK could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for ICH.