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      Case-Control Study of Platelet Glycoprotein Receptor Ib and IIb/IIIa Expression in Patients with Acute and Chronic Cerebrovascular Disease


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          Animal models have been instrumental in defining thrombus formation, including the role of platelet surface glycoprotein (GP) receptors, in acute ischemic stroke (AIS). However, the involvement of GP receptors in human ischemic stroke pathophysiology and their utility as biomarkers for ischemic stroke risk and severity requires elucidation.


          To determine whether platelet GPIb and GPIIb/IIIa receptors are differentially expressed in patients with AIS and chronic cerebrovascular disease (CCD) compared with healthy volunteers (HV) and to identify predictors of GPIb and GPIIb/IIIa expression.


          This was a case—control study of 116 patients with AIS or transient ischemic attack (TIA), 117 patients with CCD, and 104 HV who were enrolled at our University hospital from 2010 to 2013. Blood sampling was performed once in the CCD and HV groups, and at several time points in patients with AIS or TIA. Linear regression and analysis of variance were used to analyze correlations between platelet GPIb and GPIIb/IIIa receptor numbers and demographic and clinical parameters.


          GPIb and GPIIb/IIIa receptor numbers did not significantly differ between the AIS, CCD, and HV groups. GPIb receptor expression level correlated significantly with the magnitude of GPIIb/IIIa receptor expression and the neutrophil count. In contrast, GPIIb/IIIa receptor numbers were not associated with peripheral immune-cell sub-population counts. C-reactive protein was an independent predictor of GPIIb/IIIa (not GPIb) receptor numbers.


          Platelet GPIb and GPIIb/IIIa receptor numbers did not distinguish between patient or control groups in this study, negating their potential use as a biomarker for predicting stroke risk.

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          Regulatory T cells are strong promoters of acute ischemic stroke in mice by inducing dysfunction of the cerebral microvasculature.

          We have recently identified T cells as important mediators of ischemic brain damage, but the contribution of the different T-cell subsets is unclear. Forkhead box P3 (FoxP3)-positive regulatory T cells (Tregs) are generally regarded as prototypic anti-inflammatory cells that maintain immune tolerance and counteract tissue damage in a variety of immune-mediated disorders. In the present study, we examined the role of Tregs after experimental brain ischemia/reperfusion injury. Selective depletion of Tregs in the DEREG mouse model dramatically reduced infarct size and improved neurologic function 24 hours after stroke and this protective effect was preserved at later stages of infarct development. The specificity of this detrimental Treg effect was confirmed by adoptive transfer experiments in wild-type mice and in Rag1(-/-) mice lacking lymphocytes. Mechanistically, Tregs induced microvascular dysfunction in vivo by increased interaction with the ischemic brain endothelium via the LFA-1/ICAM-1 pathway and platelets and these findings were confirmed in vitro. Ablation of Tregs reduced microvascular thrombus formation and improved cerebral reperfusion on stroke, as revealed by ultra-high-field magnetic resonance imaging at 17.6 Tesla. In contrast, established immunoregulatory characteristics of Tregs had no functional relevance. We define herein a novel and unexpected role of Tregs in a primary nonimmunologic disease state.
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            FTY720 ameliorates acute ischemic stroke in mice by reducing thrombo-inflammation but not by direct neuroprotection.

            Lymphocytes are important players in the pathophysiology of acute ischemic stroke. The interaction of lymphocytes with endothelial cells and platelets, termed thrombo-inflammation, fosters microvascular dysfunction and secondary infarct growth. FTY720, a sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator, blocks the egress of lymphocytes from lymphoid organs and has been shown to reduce ischemic neurodegeneration; however, the underlying mechanisms are unclear. We investigated the mode of FTY720 action in models of cerebral ischemia. Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO) was induced in wild-type and lymphocyte-deficient Rag1(-/-) mice treated with FTY720 (1 mg/kg) or vehicle immediately before reperfusion. Stroke outcome was assessed 24 hours later. Immune cells in the blood and brain were counted by flow cytometry. The integrity of the blood-brain barrier was analyzed using Evans Blue dye. Thrombus formation was determined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot, and was correlated with cerebral perfusion. FTY720 significantly reduced stroke size and improved functional outcome in wild-type mice on day 1 and day 3 after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. This protective effect was lost in lymphocyte-deficient Rag1(-/-) mice and in cultured neurons subjected to hypoxia. Less lymphocytes were present in the cerebral vasculature of FTY720-treated wild-type mice, which in turn reduced thrombosis and increased cerebral perfusion. In contrast, FTY720 was unable to prevent blood-brain barrier breakdown and transendothelial immune cell trafficking after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Induction of lymphocytopenia and concomitant reduction of microvascular thrombosis are key modes of FTY720 action in stroke. In contrast, our findings in Rag1(-/-) mice and cultured neurons argue against direct neuroprotective effects of FTY720.
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              Comparison of neurological scales and scoring systems for acute stroke prognosis.

              Clinical trials routinely use stroke scales to compare baseline characteristics of treatment groups. It is unclear which stroke scale provides the most prognostic information. This often leads to collection of multiple scales in clinical trials. We aimed to determine which of several commonly used scales best predicted outcome. A single observer scored consecutive admissions to an acute stroke unit on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), the Canadian Neurological Scale, and the Middle Cerebral Artery Neurological Score. Guy's prognostic score was determined from clinical data. Outcome at 2, 3, 6, and 12 months was categorized as good (alive at home) or poor (alive in care or dead). Predictive accuracy of the variables was compared by receiver operating characteristic curves and stepwise logistic regression. Of the 408 patients studied, 373 had confirmed acute stroke and completed follow-up. The three stroke rating scales each predicted 3-month outcome with an accuracy of .79 or greater. The NIHSS provided the most prognostic information: sensitivity to poor outcome, .71 (95% confidence interval [CI], .64 to .79); specificity, .90 (95% CI, .86 to .94); and overall accuracy, .83 (95% CI, .79 to .87). Logistic regression showed that the NIHSS added significantly to the predictive value of all other scores. No score added useful information to the NIHSS. A cut point of 13 on the NIHSS best predicted 3-month outcome. Baseline NIHSS best predicts 3-month outcome. The Canadian Neurological Scale and Middle Cerebral Artery Neurological Score also perform well. Baseline assessments in clinical trials only need to include a single stroke rating scale.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                6 March 2015
                : 10
                : 3
                [1 ]Department of Neurology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
                [3 ]Clinical Trial Center, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
                [4 ]Institute of Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry, Comprehensive Heart Failure Center, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
                University of Muenster, GERMANY
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: CK is a PLOS ONE Editorial Board member. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to PLOS ONE Editorial policies and criteria.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: PK CK. Performed the experiments: PK IG. Analyzed the data: PK CD PUH. Wrote the paper: PK PUH CK.


                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 4, Pages: 10
                This publication was funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Sonderforschungsbereich 688) and the German Ministry for Research and Education (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Comprehensive Heart Failure Center, Würzburg, Germany). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
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                Patient privacy concerns make data ethically unsuitable for public deposition. A de-identified dataset can be obtained from the corresponding author.



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