Glycine Exhibits Neuroprotective Effects in Ischemic Stroke in Rats through the Inhibition of M1 Microglial Polarization via the NF-{kappa}B p65/Hif-1{alpha} Signaling Pathway [IMMUNE REGULATION]

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Glycine is a simple nonessential amino acid known to have neuroprotective properties. Treatment with glycine results in reduced infarct volume of the brain, neurologic function scores, and neuronal and microglial death in ischemic stroke injury. Neuroinflammation has been considered a major contributor to cerebral ischemia–induced brain damage. However, the role of glycine in neuroinflammation following ischemic stroke is unclear. The present study aimed to determine whether neuroinflammation is involved in the neuroprotective effects of glycine in cerebral ischemia injury. Ischemic stroke promotes M1 microglial polarization. Interestingly, we found that the injection of glycine in rats after injury can inhibit ischemia-induced inflammation and promote M2 microglial polarization in vivo (Sprague–Dawley rats) and in vitro (cortical microglia and BV-2 cells). We show that glycine suppresses Hif-1α by inhibiting the upregulation of NF-B p65 after ischemia-reperfusion injury, resulting in the inhibition of proinflammatory activity. The activation of AKT mediates the inhibition of NF-B p65/Hif-1α signaling by glycine. Moreover, we confirm that glycine-regulated AKT activation is mediated by the inhibition of PTEN in a PTEN depletion cell line, U251 cells. Glycine modulates microglial polarization after ischemic stroke, which indirectly inhibits ischemia-induced neuronal death and functional recovery. Taken together, our findings provide a new understanding of glycine in neuroprotection by inhibiting M1 microglial polarization and promoting anti-inflammation by suppressing NF-B p65/Hif-1α signaling.

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