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The effect of female sex hormones on Hsp27 phosphorylation and histological changes in prefrontal cortex after tMCAO

Zeinab Vahidinia, Elham Mahdavi, Sayyed Alireza Talaei, Homayoun Naderian, Aboutaleb Tamtaji, Hamed Haddad Kashani, Cordian Beyer, Abolfazl Azami Tameh

Pathology - Research and Practice



Female sex hormones are protective factors against many neurological disorders such as brain ischemia. Heat shock protein like HSP27 is activated after tissue injury. The main purpose of the present study is to determine the effect of a combined estrogen / progesterone cocktail on the morphology of astrocytes, neurons and Hsp27 phosphorylation after cerebral ischemia.


One hour after the MCAO induction, a single dose of estrogen and progesterone was injected. The infarct volume was calculated by TTC staining 24 h after ischemia. Immunohistochemistry was used to show the effects of estrogen and progesterone on astrocyte and neuron morphology, as well as the Western blot technique used for the quantitation of phosphorylated Hsp27.


The combined dose of estrogen and progesterone significantly decreased astrocytosis after ischemia and increased neuron survival. There was a large increase in Hsp27 phosphorylation in the penumbra ischemic region after stroke, which was significantly reduced by hormone therapy.


Our results indicate that the neuroprotective effect of neurosteroids in the brain may be due to the modulation of heat shock proteins.


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