Evidence that collaboration between HIF-1α and Notch-1 promotes neuronal cell death in ischemic stroke Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent findings suggest that Notch-1 signaling contributes to neuronal death in ischemic stroke, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), a global regulator of cellular responses to hypoxia, can interact with Notch and modulate its signaling during hypoxic stress. Here we show that Notch signaling interacts with the HIF-1α pathway in the process of ischemic neuronal death. We found that a chemical inhibitor of the Notch-activating enzyme, γ-secretase, and a HIF-1α inhibitor, protect cultured cortical neurons against ischemic stress, and combined inhibition of Notch-1 and HIF-1α further decreased neuronal death. HIF-1α and Notch intracellular domain (NICD) are co-expressed in the neuronal nucleus, and co-immunoprecipitated in cultured neurons and in brain tissue from mice subjected to focal ischemic stroke. Overexpression of NICD and HIF-1α in cultured human neural cells enhanced cell death under ischemia-like conditions, and a HIF-1α inhibitor rescued the cells. RNA interference-mediated depletion of endogenous NICD and HIF-1α also decreased cell death under ischemia-like conditions. Finally, mice treated with inhibitors of γ-secretase and HIF-1α exhibited improved outcome after focal ischemic stroke, with combined treatment being superior to individual treatments. Additional findings suggest that the NICD and HIF-1α collaborate to engage pro-inflammatory and apoptotic signaling pathways in stroke.


  • Cheng, YL
  • Park, JS
  • Manzanero, S
  • Choi, Y
  • Baik, SH
  • Okun, E
  • Gelderblom, M
  • Fann, DYW
  • Magnus, T
  • Launikonis, BS
  • Mattson, MP
  • Sobey, CG
  • Jo, DG
  • Arumugam, TV

publication date

  • 2014