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Proteomic Analysis of Mouse Cortex Postsynaptic Density following Neonatal Brain Hypoxia-Ischemia

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Proteomics of the synapses and postsynaptic densities (PSDs) have provided a deep understanding of protein composition and signal networks in the adult brain, which underlie neuronal plasticity and neurodegenerative or psychiatric disorders. However, there is a paucity of knowledge about the architecture and organization of PSDs in the immature brain, and how it is modified by brain injury in an early developing stage. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic analysis was performed on PSDs prepared from cortices of postnatal day 9 naïve mice or pups which had suffered hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury. 512 proteins of different functional groups were identified from PSDs collected 1 h after HI injury, among which 60 have not been reported previously. Seven newly identified proteins involved in neural development were highlighted. HI injury increased the yield of PSDs at early time points upon reperfusion, and multiple proteins were recruited into PSDs following the insult. Quantitative analysis was performed using spectral counting, and proteins whose relative expression was more than 50% up- or downregulated compared to the sham animals 1 h after HI insult were reported. Validation with Western blotting demonstrated changes in expression and phosphorylation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, activation of a series of postsynaptic protein kinases and dysregulation of scaffold and adaptor proteins in response to neonatal HI insult. This work, along with other recent studies of synaptic protein profiling in the immature brain, builds a foundation for future investigation on the molecular mechanisms underlying developing plasticity. Furthermore, it provides insights into the biochemical changes of PSDs following early brain hypoxia-ischemia, which is helpful for understanding not only the injury mechanisms, but also the process of repair or replenishment of neuronal circuits during recovery from brain damage.

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