Background: Sirt1 is a NAD+ dependent deacetylase that is known as an important metobolic regulator for type 2 diabetes mellitus. To determine the role of Sirt1 in ischemic stroke induced metabolic imbalance, we generated the neuronal specific Sirt1 knock-in (nSirt1 KI) and knock-out (Sirt1 KO) mice and examined its effect and mechanism.

Methods: To determine the role of Sirt1 in ischemic stroke induced impaired metabolic actions including insulin and glucose abnormality, we tested the pharmacological effects of metformin and sirtinol. To determine the genetic role of neuronal Sirt1 in the brain, we generated the nSirt1 KI mice. We used the Ischemia/Reperfusion (I/R: 1h MCAO/23h reperfusion) injury model to induce the abnormal metabolic changes. Infarction volume was measured by TTC staining and we determined neurological deficit score (NDS) at 23h after 1h MCAO. The level of glucose was measured by a drop of tail blood using test-strip before, during (every 10 minutes interval), and after MCAO.

Results: Metformin reduced infarction volume and sirtinol worsened the infarction volume via Sirt1 signaling pathway. Heterozygous Sirt1 KO (Sirt1+/-) mice showed decreased relative cerebral blood flow and worsen infarction volume in ischemic areas, whereas nSirt1 KI mice exhibited increased rCBF, improved NDS, regulating abnormal blood glucose, and reduced infarction volume by 42% compare to that of littermate control in I/R injury model (n=7, p<0.05). Based on western blotting analysis of brain tissue lysates in nSirt1 KImice, the expression of Sirt1 was significantly increased. Glucose regulation by overexpression of Sirt1 and reduced infarction volume in nSirt1 KI mice was reversed by sirtinol.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that the important neuroprotective effect of neuronal cells is mediated by Sirt1 overexpression and suggest that upregulation of neuronal Sirt1 may be an important therapeutic target for ischemic stroke via regulating metabolic imbalance.


G. Li: None. H. Kim: None.


Jeongseon County

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at