Astragaloside IV suppresses post-ischemic natural killer cell infiltration and activation in the brain: involvement of histone deacetylase inhibition
Natural killer (NK) cells, a type of cytotoxic lymphocytes, can infiltrate into ischemic brain and exacerbate neuronal cell death. Astragaloside IV (ASIV) is the major bioactive ingredient of , a Chinese herbal medicine, and possesses potent immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties. This study investigated the effects of ASIV on post-ischemic brain infiltration and activation of NK cells. ASIV reduced brain infarction and alleviated functional deficits in MCAO rats, and these beneficial effects persisted for at least 7 days. Abundant NK cells infiltrated into the ischemic hemisphere on day 1 after brain ischemia, and this infiltration was suppressed by ASIV. Strikingly, ASIV reversed NK cell deficiency in the spleen and blood after brain ischemia. ASIV inhibited astrocyte-derived CCL2 upregulation and reduced CCR2 NK cell levels in the ischemic brain. Meanwhile, ASIV attenuated NK cell activating receptor NKG2D levels and reduced interferon-γ production. ASIV restored acetylation of histone H3 and the p65 subunit of nuclear factor-κB in the ischemic brain, suggesting inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC). Simultaneously, ASIV prevented p65 nuclear translocation. The effects of ASIV on reducing CCL2 production, restoring acetylated p65 levels and preventing p65 nuclear translocation were mimicked by valproate, an HDAC inhibitor, in astrocytes subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation. Our findings suggest that ASIV inhibits post-ischemic NK cell brain infiltration and activation and reverses NK cell deficiency in the periphery, which together contribute to the beneficial effects of ASIV against brain ischemia. Furthermore, ASIV’s effects on suppressing NK cell brain infiltration and activation may involve HDAC inhibition.