Vol 61, No 1 (2023)
Original paper
Published online: 2023-03-17

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Expression of HIF1α, BNIP3, and beclin-1 in the brain of newborn and adult yaks (Bos grunniens)

Qian Zhang1, Yan Cui1, Sijiu Yu1, Junfeng He1, Yangyang Pan1, Meng Wang1, Gengquan Xu1
Pubmed: 36987743
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2023;61(1):26-33.

Abstract

Introduction. As a main consumer of energy, the brain is particularly susceptible to the effects of hypoxia. However, during long-term evolution, the brain of the plateau yak developed adaptive mechanisms enabling it to maintain normal physiological conditions.

Material and methods. A total of 20 male yaks belonging to two age groups [newborns (1–6 days old; n = 10) and adults (3–5 years old; n = 10)] were obtained, and the brain tissue was fixed and processed by standard methods. RT-qPCR, ELISA and IHC assays were used to investigate the expression and localization of HIF1α, BNIP3 and beclin-1 in the hippocampus, cerebral cortex, thalamus, medulla oblongata and cerebellum of newborn and adult yak brains and to explore their potential neuroprotective role.

Results. We found that the expression levels of HIF1α, BNIP3 and beclin-1 at the mRNA and protein levels varied in the different regions of yak brain, with the highest expression observed in the hippocampus, followed by the cerebral cortex, thalamus, medulla oblongata and the cerebellum. Moreover, the HIF1α, BNIP3 and beclin-1 expression were significantly higher in the newborn yaks’ brains than in the adult yak. The IHC results showed that HIF1α, BNIP3 and beclin-1 were mainly distributed in the neurons of the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, medulla oblongata and cerebellum. In particular, HIF1α accumulated in the nucleus and cytoplasm. Furthermore, the immunoreactivity of BNIP3 and beclin-1 was concentrated in the cytoplasm.

Conclusions. The results indicate that the yak hippocampus and cerebral cortex may be more resistant to hypoxia than thalamus, medulla oblongata and cerebellum, and the expression of BNIP3 and beclin-1 may be regulated by HIF1α to serve a neuroprotective role in the yak’s brain to adaptation to hypoxia. Additionally, the brain of adult yaks may have a higher tolerance to hypoxia than the brain of newborn yaks.

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