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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(11):2312-2322

Original Article
Influences of HIF-lα on Bax/Bcl-2 and VEGF expressions in rats with spinal cord injury

Mao-Hua Chen, Qing-Xian Ren, Wen-Fa Yang, Xiang-Lin Chen, Chuan-Lu, Jun Sun

Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Hospital of Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China; Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated
Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China; Department of Neurosurgery, The First Hospital of Lianyungang, Jiangsu 222003,
China; Department of Neurosurgery, The First Hospital of Qingyuan, Guangdong 511500, China. Equal contributors.

Received July 5, 2013; Accepted August 31, 2013; Epub October 15, 2013; Published November 1, 2013

Abstract: Hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) is a subunit of HIF-l and thought to be able to protect hypoxic cells from apoptosis or
necrosis under ischemic and anoxic conditions. This study aimed to investigated whether recombinant adenovirus vector over-expressing HIF-
lα could affect apoptosis-related proteins (Bcl-2 and Bax) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in a rat spinal cord injury (SCI) model. A
total of 60 male SD rats were divided into 4 groups: Sham, Control, Ad-Blank and Ad-HIF-1α groups. 1, 3, 7, 14, 28 days after surgery, the
behavioral recovery was evaluated with BBB scales. Then, rats were sacrificed and the spinal cord was collected for detection of Bcl-2, Bax and
VEGF expressions by immunohistochemistry. Results showed the Bcl-2, Bax, VEGF and HIF-lα expressions increased in animals with SCI, but
the increase in Bcl-2, VEGF and HIF-lα expressions were higher in Ad-HIF-1α group when compared with other groups, but Bax expression
decreased significantly. In addition, administration of Ad-HIF-1α significantly reduced apoptotic cells and promoted the recovery of neurological
function. In conclusion, administration of Ad-HIF-1α after SCI could ameliorate neuronal apoptosis and promote angiogenesis in rats. Our
study provides a basis for further exploration of the relationship between HIF1α and SCI. (IJCEP1307011).

Keywords: HIF-1α, spinal cord injury, apoptosis, vascular endothelial growth factor

Address correspondence to: Jun Sun, Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Hospital of Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, China. Tel: +86 577
8807 0770; Fax: +86 577 8807 0335; E-mail: sunjun1373@sina.com