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Matrix Metalloproteinases and Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption in Acute Ischemic Stroke

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      Ischemic stroke continues to be one of the most challenging diseases in translational neurology. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) remains the only approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke, but its use is limited to the first hours after stroke onset due to an increased risk of hemorrhagic transformation over time resulting in enhanced brain injury. In this review we discuss the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption as a consequence of ischemic stroke. MMP-9 in particular appears to play an important role in tPA-associated hemorrhagic complications. Reactive oxygen species can enhance the effects of tPA on MMP activation through the loss of caveolin-1 (cav-1), a protein encoded in the cav-1 gene that serves as a critical determinant of BBB permeability. This review provides an overview of MMPs’ role in BBB breakdown during acute ischemic stroke. The possible role of MMPs in combination treatment of acute ischemic stroke is also examined.

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      Tissue plasminogen activator for acute ischemic stroke. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke rt-PA Stroke Study Group.

       Paul O'Byrne (1996)
      Thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke has been approached cautiously because there were high rates of intracerebral hemorrhage in early clinical trials. We performed a randomized, double-blind trial of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) for ischemic stroke after recent pilot studies suggested that t-PA was beneficial when treatment was begun within three hours of the onset of stroke. The trial had two parts. Part 1 (in which 291 patients were enrolled) tested whether t-PA had clinical activity, as indicated by an improvement of 4 points over base-line values in the score of the National Institutes of Health stroke scale (NIHSS) or the resolution of the neurologic deficit within 24 hours of the onset of stroke. Part 2 (in which 333 patients were enrolled) used a global test statistic to assess clinical outcome at three months, according to scores on the Barthel index, modified Rankin scale, Glasgow outcome scale, and NIHSS: In part 1, there was no significant difference between the group given t-PA and that given placebo in the percentages of patients with neurologic improvement at 24 hours, although a benefit was observed for the t-PA group at three months for all four outcome measures. In part 2, the long-term clinical benefit of t-PA predicted by the results of part 1 was confirmed (global odds ratio for a favorable outcome, 1.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.2 to 2.6). As compared with patients given placebo, patients treated with t-PA were at least 30 percent more likely to have minimal or no disability at three months on the assessment scales. Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage within 36 hours after the onset of stroke occurred in 6.4 percent of patients given t-PA but only 0.6 percent of patients given placebo (P < 0.001). Mortality at three months was 17 percent in the t-PA group and 21 percent in the placebo group (P = 0.30). Despite an increased incidence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage, treatment with intravenous t-PA within three hours of the onset of ischemic stroke improved clinical outcome at three months.
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        Thrombolysis with alteplase 3 to 4.5 hours after acute ischemic stroke.

        Intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase is the only approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke, but its efficacy and safety when administered more than 3 hours after the onset of symptoms have not been established. We tested the efficacy and safety of alteplase administered between 3 and 4.5 hours after the onset of a stroke. After exclusion of patients with a brain hemorrhage or major infarction, as detected on a computed tomographic scan, we randomly assigned patients with acute ischemic stroke in a 1:1 double-blind fashion to receive treatment with intravenous alteplase (0.9 mg per kilogram of body weight) or placebo. The primary end point was disability at 90 days, dichotomized as a favorable outcome (a score of 0 or 1 on the modified Rankin scale, which has a range of 0 to 6, with 0 indicating no symptoms at all and 6 indicating death) or an unfavorable outcome (a score of 2 to 6 on the modified Rankin scale). The secondary end point was a global outcome analysis of four neurologic and disability scores combined. Safety end points included death, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, and other serious adverse events. We enrolled a total of 821 patients in the study and randomly assigned 418 to the alteplase group and 403 to the placebo group. The median time for the administration of alteplase was 3 hours 59 minutes. More patients had a favorable outcome with alteplase than with placebo (52.4% vs. 45.2%; odds ratio, 1.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.76; P=0.04). In the global analysis, the outcome was also improved with alteplase as compared with placebo (odds ratio, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.65; P<0.05). The incidence of intracranial hemorrhage was higher with alteplase than with placebo (for any intracranial hemorrhage, 27.0% vs. 17.6%; P=0.001; for symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, 2.4% vs. 0.2%; P=0.008). Mortality did not differ significantly between the alteplase and placebo groups (7.7% and 8.4%, respectively; P=0.68). There was no significant difference in the rate of other serious adverse events. As compared with placebo, intravenous alteplase administered between 3 and 4.5 hours after the onset of symptoms significantly improved clinical outcomes in patients with acute ischemic stroke; alteplase was more frequently associated with symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. ( number, NCT00153036.) 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society
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          Structure and function of the blood-brain barrier.

          Neural signalling within the central nervous system (CNS) requires a highly controlled microenvironment. Cells at three key interfaces form barriers between the blood and the CNS: the blood-brain barrier (BBB), blood-CSF barrier and the arachnoid barrier. The BBB at the level of brain microvessel endothelium is the major site of blood-CNS exchange. The structure and function of the BBB is summarised, the physical barrier formed by the endothelial tight junctions, and the transport barrier resulting from membrane transporters and vesicular mechanisms. The roles of associated cells are outlined, especially the endfeet of astrocytic glial cells, and pericytes and microglia. The embryonic development of the BBB, and changes in pathology are described. The BBB is subject to short and long-term regulation, which may be disturbed in pathology. Any programme for drug discovery or delivery, to target or avoid the CNS, needs to consider the special features of the BBB.

            Author and article information

            1Biosciences Department, Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation Beverly Hills, CA, USA
            2Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic Cleveland, OH, USA
            3School of Health and Medical Sciences, Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ, USA
            Author notes

            Edited by: Ashfaq Shuaib, University of Alberta, Canada

            Reviewed by: Anna M. Planas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Spain; Daniel Bereczki, Semmelweis University, Hungary; Mahesh P. Kate, University of Alberta Hospital, Canada; Syed F. Zaidi, University of Toledo Medical Center, USA

            *Correspondence: Shaheen E. Lakhan, Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, S100A, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. e-mail: slakhan@

            This article was submitted to Frontiers in Stroke, a specialty of Frontiers in Neurology.

            Front Neurol
            Front Neurol
            Front. Neurol.
            Frontiers in Neurology
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            03 April 2013
            : 4
            23565108 3615191 10.3389/fneur.2013.00032
            Copyright © 2013 Lakhan, Kirchgessner, Tepper and Leonard.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

            Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 150, Pages: 15, Words: 14945
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