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      Rational modulation of the innate immune system for neuroprotection in ischemic stroke

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          The innate immune system plays a dualistic role in the evolution of ischemic brain damage and has also been implicated in ischemic tolerance produced by different conditioning stimuli. Early after ischemia, perivascular astrocytes release cytokines and activate metalloproteases (MMPs) that contribute to blood–brain barrier (BBB) disruption and vasogenic oedema; whereas at later stages, they provide extracellular glutamate uptake, BBB regeneration and neurotrophic factors release. Similarly, early activation of microglia contributes to ischemic brain injury via the production of inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin (IL)-1, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and proteases. Nevertheless, microglia also contributes to the resolution of inflammation, by releasing IL-10 and tumor growth factor (TGF)-β, and to the late reparative processes by phagocytic activity and growth factors production. Indeed, after ischemia, microglia/macrophages differentiate toward several phenotypes: the M1 pro-inflammatory phenotype is classically activated via toll-like receptors or interferon-γ, whereas M2 phenotypes are alternatively activated by regulatory mediators, such as ILs 4, 10, 13, or TGF-β. Thus, immune cells exert a dualistic role on the evolution of ischemic brain damage, since the classic phenotypes promote injury, whereas alternatively activated M2 macrophages or N2 neutrophils prompt tissue remodeling and repair. Moreover, a subdued activation of the immune system has been involved in ischemic tolerance, since different preconditioning stimuli act via modulation of inflammatory mediators, including toll-like receptors and cytokine signaling pathways. This further underscores that the immuno-modulatory approach for the treatment of ischemic stroke should be aimed at blocking the detrimental effects, while promoting the beneficial responses of the immune reaction.

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          Most cited references 308

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          A randomized trial of intraarterial treatment for acute ischemic stroke.

          In patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by a proximal intracranial arterial occlusion, intraarterial treatment is highly effective for emergency revascularization. However, proof of a beneficial effect on functional outcome is lacking. We randomly assigned eligible patients to either intraarterial treatment plus usual care or usual care alone. Eligible patients had a proximal arterial occlusion in the anterior cerebral circulation that was confirmed on vessel imaging and that could be treated intraarterially within 6 hours after symptom onset. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin scale score at 90 days; this categorical scale measures functional outcome, with scores ranging from 0 (no symptoms) to 6 (death). The treatment effect was estimated with ordinal logistic regression as a common odds ratio, adjusted for prespecified prognostic factors. The adjusted common odds ratio measured the likelihood that intraarterial treatment would lead to lower modified Rankin scores, as compared with usual care alone (shift analysis). We enrolled 500 patients at 16 medical centers in The Netherlands (233 assigned to intraarterial treatment and 267 to usual care alone). The mean age was 65 years (range, 23 to 96), and 445 patients (89.0%) were treated with intravenous alteplase before randomization. Retrievable stents were used in 190 of the 233 patients (81.5%) assigned to intraarterial treatment. The adjusted common odds ratio was 1.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21 to 2.30). There was an absolute difference of 13.5 percentage points (95% CI, 5.9 to 21.2) in the rate of functional independence (modified Rankin score, 0 to 2) in favor of the intervention (32.6% vs. 19.1%). There were no significant differences in mortality or the occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. In patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by a proximal intracranial occlusion of the anterior circulation, intraarterial treatment administered within 6 hours after stroke onset was effective and safe. (Funded by the Dutch Heart Foundation and others; MR CLEAN Netherlands Trial Registry number, NTR1804, and Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN10888758.).
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            Molecular dissection of reactive astrogliosis and glial scar formation.

            Reactive astrogliosis, whereby astrocytes undergo varying molecular and morphological changes, is a ubiquitous but poorly understood hallmark of all central nervous system pathologies. Genetic tools are now enabling the molecular dissection of the functions and mechanisms of reactive astrogliosis in vivo. Recent studies provide compelling evidence that reactive astrogliosis can exert both beneficial and detrimental effects in a context-dependent manner determined by specific molecular signaling cascades. Reactive astrocytes can have both loss of normal functions and gain of abnormal effects that could feature prominently in a variety of disease processes. This article reviews developments in the signaling mechanisms that regulate specific aspects of reactive astrogliosis and highlights the potential to identify novel therapeutic molecular targets for diverse neurological disorders.
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              Genomic analysis of reactive astrogliosis.

              Reactive astrogliosis is characterized by a profound change in astrocyte phenotype in response to all CNS injuries and diseases. To better understand the reactive astrocyte state, we used Affymetrix GeneChip arrays to profile gene expression in populations of reactive astrocytes isolated at various time points after induction using two mouse injury models, ischemic stroke and neuroinflammation. We find reactive gliosis consists of a rapid, but quickly attenuated, induction of gene expression after insult and identify induced Lcn2 and Serpina3n as strong markers of reactive astrocytes. Strikingly, reactive astrocyte phenotype strongly depended on the type of inducing injury. Although there is a core set of genes that is upregulated in reactive astrocytes from both injury models, at least 50% of the altered gene expression is specific to a given injury type. Reactive astrocytes in ischemia exhibited a molecular phenotype that suggests that they may be beneficial or protective, whereas reactive astrocytes induced by LPS exhibited a phenotype that suggests that they may be detrimental. These findings demonstrate that, despite well established commonalities, astrocyte reactive gliosis is a highly heterogeneous state in which astrocyte activities are altered to respond to the specific injury. This raises the question of how many subtypes of reactive astrocytes exist. Our findings provide transcriptome databases for two subtypes of reactive astrocytes that will be highly useful in generating new and testable hypotheses of their function, as well as for providing new markers to detect different types of reactive astrocytes in human neurological diseases.

                Author and article information

                1Section of Preclinical and Translational Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria Rende, Italy
                2C. Mondino National Neurological Institute Pavia, Italy
                3Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia Pavia, Italy
                4Unidad de Investigación Neurovascular, Departamento de Farmacología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Instituto de Investigación Hospital 12 de Octubre Madrid, Spain
                5Section of Neuropharmacology of Normal and Pathological Neuronal Plasticity, University Consortium for Adaptive Disorders and Head Pain, University of Calabria Rende, Italy
                Author notes

                Edited by: Giuseppe Pignataro, Federico II University of Naples, Italy

                Reviewed by: Samir Kumar-Singh, University of Antwerp, Belgium; Jan Mulder, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

                *Correspondence: Diana Amantea, Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci, Ed. Polifunzionale, I-87036 Rende, Italy amantea@

                This article was submitted to Neurodegeneration, a section of the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience

                Front Neurosci
                Front Neurosci
                Front. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                29 April 2015
                : 9
                Copyright © 2015 Amantea, Micieli, Tassorelli, Cuartero, Ballesteros, Certo, Moro, Lizasoain and Bagetta.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Figures: 1, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 313, Pages: 20, Words: 18516


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