DNA repair protein APE1 is involved in host response during pneumococcal meningitis and its expression can be modulated by vitamin B6

Coutinho, Leonam G.; de Oliveira, Ana Helena Sales; Witwer, Matthias; Leib, Stephen; Agnez-Lima, Lucymara F. (2017). DNA repair protein APE1 is involved in host response during pneumococcal meningitis and its expression can be modulated by vitamin B6. Journal of neuroinflammation, 14(1), p. 243. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12974-017-1020-5

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The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during pneumococcal meningitis (PM) leads to severe DNA damage in the neurons and is the major cause of cell death during infection. Hence, the use of antioxidants as adjuvant therapy has been investigated. Previous studies have demonstrated the possible participation of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE1) during PM. The aims of this study were to investigate the APE1 expression in the cortical and hippocampal tissues of infant Wistar rats infected with Streptococcus pneumoniae and its association with cell death and understand the role of vitamin B6 (vitB6) as a protective factor against cell death.


APE1 expression and oxidative stress markers were analyzed at two-time points, 20 and 24 h post infection (p.i.), in the cortex (CX) and hippocampus (HC) of rats supplemented with vitB6. Statistical analyses were performed by the nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis test using Dunn’s post test.


Our results showed high protein levels of APE1 in CX and HC of infected rats. In the CX, at 20 h p.i., vitB6 supplementation led to the reduction of expression of APE1 and apoptosis-inducing factor, while no significant changes in the transcript levels of caspase-3 were observed. Furthermore, levels of carbonyl content and glutamate in the CX were reduced by vitB6 supplementation at the same time point of 20 h p.i.. Since our data showed a significant effect of vitB6 on the CX at 20 h p.i. rather than that at 24 h p.i., we evaluated the effect of administering a second dose of vitB6 at 18 h p.i. and sacrifice at 24 h p.i.. Reduction in the oxidative stress and APE1 levels were observed, although the latter was not significant. Although the levels of APE1 was not significantly changed in the HC with vitB6 adjuvant therapy, vitB6 supplementation prevented the formation of the truncated form of APE1 (34 kDa) that is associated with apoptosis.


Our data suggest that PM affects APE1 expression, which can be modulated by vitB6. Additionally, vitB6 contributes to the reduction of glutamate and ROS levels. Besides the potential to reduce cell death and oxidative stress during neuroinflammation, vitB6 showed enhanced effect on the CX than on the HC during PM.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases

UniBE Contributor:

Leib, Stephen


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




BioMed Central


[UNSPECIFIED] UBS Optimus Foundation




Stephen Leib

Date Deposited:

22 Feb 2018 14:33

Last Modified:

29 Oct 2019 10:24

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