Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) causes high mortality and morbidity, but our knowledge of post-ICH neuronal death and related mechanisms is limited. In this study, we first demonstrated that ferroptosis, a newly identified form of cell death, occurs in the collagenase-induced ICH model in mice. We found that administration of ferrostatin-1, a specific inhibitor of ferroptosis, prevented neuronal death and reduced iron deposition induced by hemoglobin in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures (OHSCs). Mice treated with ferrostatin-1 after ICH exhibited marked brain protection and improved neurologic function. Additionally, we found that ferrostatin-1 reduced lipid reactive oxygen species production and attenuated the increased expression level of PTGS2 and its gene product cyclooxygenase-2 ex vivo and in vivo. Moreover, ferrostatin-1 in combination with other inhibitors that target different forms of cell death prevented hemoglobin-induced cell death in OHSCs and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons better than any inhibitor alone. These results indicate that ferroptosis contributes to neuronal death after ICH, that administration of ferrostatin-1 protects hemorrhagic brain, and that cyclooxygenase-2 could be a biomarker of ferroptosis. The insights gained from this study will advance our knowledge of the post-ICH cell death cascade and be essential for future preclinical studies.
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